Cohabitation Agreement Solicitors
Cohabitation is the fastest growing family unit in Britain, with 6 million people across the country living together without being married.
It is a common misconception that unmarried couples who are together for a long time are perceived as married by the law. In fact, there is no such thing as “common law marriage”. If you and your partner break up, you don’t receive legal protections or entitlements as you would if you were married or in a civil partnership.
In some extreme circumstances, people can share a life with a partner for years, or even decades, only to end up with nothing when the relationship breaks down or one partner dies.
If you and your partner live together but you aren’t married, you can still protect your financial interests. Our highly skilled Family Team are on hand to draft you a personalised Cohabitation Agreement so you can feel safe knowing your future is secure even if you and your partner choose to part ways.
We have over 60 years of experience serving the local community across Sidcup, Bexley and Kent. So get in touch with our Family Team today by calling 020 8300 9321, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by filling in the enquiry form at the top of the page.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A Cohabitation Agreement, also known as a Living Together Agreement, is a document which sets out how a couple – referred to as cohabitees – will divide and arrange their property, assets, and finances in the event of relationship breakdown.
The purpose of Cohabitation Agreements is to ensure any break up is fair on both parties and to avoid any disputes.
Why do you need a Cohabitation Agreement?
When a married couple divorces, the law states that their entire circumstances must be taken into account and their finances arranged to ensure both parties can maintain a reasonable standard of living. When a cohabiting couple separates, there are no legal rules or protections available. Common risks faced by cohabitees include:
- Being left without any legal entitlement to financial provision after they break up with their partner.
- Being unable to inherit their partner’s money and property should they die without leaving a will.
- Losing their home because it is solely owned by their former partner.
- Disputes about how household expenses such as rent, mortgage, or bills will be paid after relationship breakdown.
In most long-term relationships, married and unmarried couples alike, each partner contributes to the relationship in different but equally valuable ways. These contributions are not always financial, for example, where one partner stays at home to take care of the house and children.
A Cohabitation Agreement ensures fairness by setting out how cohabitees’ finances should be arranged in the event of separation to avoid either partner suffering financial hardship.
What should be included in a Cohabitation Agreement?
A successful Cohabitation Agreement will cover all of your financial and proprietary obligations and requirements including:
- How the mortgage or rent will be paid
- How property will be split and the shares to which each cohabitee is entitled
- How savings should be split
- How financial support for children or living expenses will be arranged
- How items such as furniture and white goods should be shared
- What happens to the cars
- Who gets to keep the family pets
How our cohabitation agreement lawyers can help
Few couples enjoy thinking about their possible break-up. However, it is worth taking the time to draw up a Cohabitation Agreement to prevent any unnecessary stress and disagreement down the line.
Our highly skilled Family Team have broad expertise in family law matters. We value harmonious discussion and always strive to provide the highest quality of advice and guidance possible.
We can offer you a free initial appointment to discuss the particulars of your case, so we can draft you a Cohabitation Agreement which is specifically tailored to your individual situation. As experts in negotiation, we can work with your partner’s solicitor to come to an Agreement which protects your interests but still works for both of you.
How to draft a Cohabitation Agreement
Drawing up a Cohabitation Agreement is no simple matter, but the more thorough you are, the better. First, make a list with details of all essential information, including:
- Income and expenses such as mortgage or rent payments and bills
- The contributions each partner makes to the household expenses
- Assets such as savings, investments, and pensions
- If you have a mortgage, how much remains outstanding and the remaining term
- Information about property ownership such as houses owned by either partner, and the legal shares held in jointly-owned property
- Information about any debts such as loans
- Details of personal belongings such as furniture, cars, jewellery, or other valuable items
- Pension information
Once you have gathered as much of this information as possible, our Family Team can provide professional advice and guidance on the particulars of your Agreement.
How to make Cohabitation Agreements legally binding
A Cohabitation Agreement alone is not legally binding on you or your partner, although a judge is likely to follow it providing it is fair.
If you want extra security, we can draw up a deed for you and your partner to execute so your Cohabitation Agreement is legally binding.
Why choose Woolsey Morris & Kennedy for your Cohabitation Agreement?
We aim to make your Cohabitation Agreement experience as quick and simple as possible. We provide an initial free initial appointment to discuss the particulars of your situation and to look over any financial information you bring.
We understand that all couples are different, so we won’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to your case. Your Cohabitation Agreement will be personalised and suitable for your circumstances, so you can feel confident that your future is financially secure.
We pride ourselves on our excellent service and we are accredited by the Law Society for Lexcel, which recognises our high-quality client care.
Woolsey Morris & Kennedy is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Get in touch with our Cohabitation Agreement solicitors in Sidcup
If you would like more information about Cohabitation Agreements or you would like to set up an initial appointment, please contact our team by calling 020 8300 9321, emailing email@example.com, or by completing the enquiry form at the top of the page.
Our service includes:
- a free initial 30 minute interview
- Drafting the agreement in line with your instructions
- Dealing with advice to the other party to seek independent legal advice, where there could be a conflict
- Ensuring you have the best agreement possible