A Cohabitation Agreement is entered into by cohabiting couples who wish to protect their rights upon the breakdown of their relationship. The agreement allows parties to document how the property and its contents, personal belongings such as cars and valuable items jointly or solely owned and savings should be divided, each parties rights and responsibilities financially following the end of a relationship.
It is a very common misconception that if you live with your unmarried partner for a number of years, you acquire the same rights that a married couple have. This is simply not the case and there is no such thing as a common law marriage. Therefore you have little legal protection following the breakdown of the relationship. For this reason, if you are considering living with your partner, we recommend that you take independent legal advice on what may happen in the event the relationship ends and we advise you to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement, in order to protect your future position.
The validity of these agreements are debatable, however they are likely to be upheld in court if the parties seek independent legal advice and provide full and frank disclosure prior to entering into the agreement. Furthermore, there should be no possibility that undue influence can be claimed and there should be no fraud or mistake involved.
Who can enter into a cohabitation agreement?
Cohabitation agreements are frequently entered into by cohabitees who want to regulate their financial and living arrangements both during cohabitation and if cohabitation comes to an end. They are usually entered into by couples who have decided not to marry or enter into a civil partnership but have decided to live together.
The cohabitation agreement should be executed before the parties begin to reside together.
We can help you execute a cohabitation agreement or provide you with legal advice should you be presented with one from your partner.