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Although cohabiting does give couples certain legal rights, this should not be mistaken as being the same as those that are granted to couples in a civil partnership or marriage. The best way that unmarried couples can protect their interests and avoid conflict is to have a cohabitation agreement in place.
A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that can be enforced by the court if it is properly executed. To ensure there are no problems with the agreement, both parties must be honest about their finances and obtain separate legal advice.
Why do I need one?
When a cohabiting relationship breaks down, the law assumes that any jointly owned assets are divided equally with no financial obligations to one another (presuming there are no children involved). Unlike a divorcing couple, there is no entitlement to maintenance payments or any form of financial settlement. Whether you live with your partner or you are planning on moving in together, having a cohabitation agreement lets you address various matters, including:
● how you will pay rent or a mortgage● next of kin rights ● assets brought into the relationship and bought while living together
This can be a difficult conversation to have with your partner, but drawing up such an agreement can give you peace of mind about the future and ensure that fair and rational decisions are made for both parties. If you would like to draft a cohabitation agreement with your partner, contact our family law team today for personalised legal advice.
Cohabitation Lawyers supporting clients in Essex & East London
Get in touch for clear guidance on your situation.
At Hanson Woods Solicitors, we understand that every relationship is different and therefore your legal advice should be too. When you instruct our friendly family lawyers, we will talk you through every step of creating a cohabitation agreement to make sure it reflects your wishes and needs.
The terms of the agreement must be drafted very clearly and in the form of a deed before they will have legal effect. The best way to ensure that your agreement has legal standing is with the assistance of an experienced lawyer.