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A Cohabitation Agreement is also known as a Living Together Agreement. It is a document which formalises agreements about what will happen to assets, finances and children in the case of separation. These agreements include everything from shared assets to property rights as well as provision for the care of children and pets and access agreements. Cohabitation agreements are essential in ensuring that in the event of a breakdown of the relationship, there are minimal cost and legal issues, as well as helping to limit the disruption to your life and that of your family.
While it is not uncommon to hear people refer to couples who have been living together in the UK for a long time as married under ‘common law’, there is nothing legally binding about being together for any amount of time. Couples that live together are known as cohabitees under the law. Cohabiting couples are not afforded the same protections or rights by law as those who are married when splitting up.
If a couple is married, they are entitled by law to a maintenance as well as a share in assets, finances and property. When separating, a married couple will give evidence in court to help contribute to the fairest way to split money and property between them.
When you aren’t married, you are not affected by the same rights. No matter the length of time you have been together, or how many children you might have, if your relationship has not been formalised in marriage, then your rights are not the same. This means that couples who split up will have to deal with the breakdown of their relationship as well as the division of money and assets. After living together for a long time, it can be difficult to know which assets belong to which partner, and sorting out who will take what can become complicated. The situation can be even worse if the relationship has not ended on the best terms.
Having an agreement in place stops the stress of splitting up these assets at the end of a relationship, meaning that both parties can move on as quickly and easily as possible.
When done properly, a cohabitation agreement can help sort many issues quickly and with minimal stress. These include:
● Who owns how much of a property● Who gets the car(s) that you own● Custody of children and pets● Who will manage family businesses● Division of savings● Division of mortgage and bills● Adjustments to pension schemes● What happens in the event of the death of your partner (if still in a relationship)
While a cohabitation agreement is not legally binding by itself, it can still be very useful for both parties in the event of a break-up. Under normal circumstances, a court will follow any instructions in a cohabitation agreement, assuming that the conditions are fair to both parties. Our lawyers can ensure that your agreement becomes a formal legal deed, meaning that it will be legally binding. Contact us today to see how we can do this for you.
Our team of dedicated family law experts are on hand to deal with any Cohabitation Agreement issues you might have. We know how difficult going through a separation can be for you and your family. Our expert team endeavour to provide all our clients with a friendly, professional and reliable experience. If you have any family law matters you wish to take care of then we suggest you contact us immediately. Speaking to a solicitor early in the separation process minimises problems and ensures that you get the best outcome for your circumstances. We ensure the impact on your life is minimal, and in particular disruption to any children under the age of 16 is negligible. If you wish to speak to a member of team today, then do not hesitate to contact us. You can contact us by filling in our online contact form here, or you can speak to a member of our team by phoning us on 020 3962 0756. We look forward to hearing from you.