The law in England and Wales provides very little legal protection for unmarried couples who live together – known as ‘cohabitation’. This can cause problems, should your relationship breakdown in the future.
To avoid these issues, you should consider putting a Cohabitation Agreement in place. To do this, you need the help of a family law solicitor.
If your relationship has already broken down, it is too late for a Cohabitation Agreement. If you are now facing a dispute with your ex-partner, a family law solicitor can advise what options are available to you.
To speak to a family law solicitor, contact us at Solicitors Near Me UK. We put you in touch with the best family lawyers in your area. This is 100% free of charge.
A Cohabitation Agreement is a written document which sets out what should happen, in the event your relationship comes to an end. It deals with the logistics of your separation, including
- What happens to the family home
- Where the children live and when the other parent can see them
- Whether maintenance payments should be made
- How money and debts should be divided
- What happens to possessions, such as vehicles
- Who keeps any pets
Not all Cohabitation Agreements are the same. The details of the agreement should be tailored to you and your circumstances. Once you have it in place, it may never be needed. However, if you do separate, it outlines exactly what should happen to your money, property, children and other assets.
Benefits of a Cohabitation Agreement
Married couples in England and Wales enjoy significant rights to each other’s assets. Yet this does not apply to unmarried couples. This means that if you move into your partner’s home, you have no automatic claim over it. This applies, even if you have lived there for many years.
With a Cohabitation Agreement, you can determine what each person’s share should be, in the event your relationship breaks down. For example, you could agree that while one partner is not on the mortgage deeds, he/she should get a share of the equity. This is to reflect their contribution towards the upkeep of the property.
Because you are making the agreement now, it is much more likely to be fair to each person. Once your relationship breaks down, feelings can sour, making it harder to reach a mutually agreeable solution. It is therefore better to avoid potential disputes by drawing up a Cohabitation Agreement now. This provides greater certainty – and protection – for the future.
If you want to make a Cohabitation Agreement, you must involve a specialist family law solicitor. Otherwise, the agreement may not protect your best interests. Additionally, it may not be considered valid, should you need to rely on it in the future.
We can connect you to the best family law solicitors, so you can find out more about Cohabitation Agreements. This service is completely free of charge.
Disputes between cohabitees
If your relationship has broken down and you do not have a Cohabitation Agreement, you might be wondering what to do next. Lots of people in this situation face a bitter dispute with their ex-partner, but are unsure what their legal rights are.
If so, we can direct you to the right family law solicitors in your local area. We know which firms specialise in family law.