Family Law

Cohabitation Law Solicitors

Cohabitation law is complex and largely unwritten, resulting in cases having a much greater level of uncertainty than other areas of family law. This makes having a specialist solicitor on your side from the very beginning an imperative part of achieving the best-possible result.

Our team will work with you to draw up a Cohabitation Agreement which will ensure your rights and finances are protected in the event you split up with your partner.

If you have split up without a Cohabitation Agreement in place, we will work with you to ensure your assets are protected and all your rights are upheld.

For a free, no obligation discussion on how our team could help you, call us on 0161 446 1122.

Cohabitation Agreements

A Cohabitation Agreement is a legal document which sets out what will happen to all assets, finances and family should you and your partner separate. These agreements can cover everything from property rights and custody of children to who gets to keep the goldfish upon separation, ensuring you both know where you stand should the relationship come to an end.

By drawing up a comprehensive Cohabitation Agreement during your relationship, you are protecting yourself from the potential of damaging costs and lengthy legal battles should the relationship come to a premature end.

The myth of common law marriage

Many people believe that people couples who have been living together for a long period of time are classified as ‘common law’ husbands and wives and benefit from some legal protections because of this.

This belief, however, is potentially damaging, as unmarried couples living together have none of the legal rights gained by married couples or those in civil partnerships. Instead, it is up to you, your partner and your respective legal teams to untangle assets and agree to financial splits. Something which tends to be extremely complex after a lengthy relationship.

In many cases, this means the process of separating as an unmarried couple is longer, more expensive and more stressful than getting a divorce. The result of arrangements made during the course of an emotional breakup is often not ideal, also.

A Cohabitation Agreement, however, does give you this protection, making the process of ending a relationship and moving on a much smoother process.

Is a Cohabitation Agreement legally binding?

On its own, a Cohabitation Agreement is not legally binding. However, a court will typically follow the instructions laid out in one assuming it is fair to both parties, making separating a much smoother process.

It is important to note that a court is more likely to uphold a Cohabitation Agreement drawn up with the aid of specialist legal advice, as it provides increased guarantees that both parties in the relationship have been fairly provided for. This provides less scope for one party to challenge the agreement following a breakup, potentially saving a costly court case.

When to get a Cohabitation Agreement

The ideal time to put together a Cohabitation Agreement is when you and your partner start building shared assets, either by buying a home or making an expensive purchase, or have your first child. Sitting down to draw this up will ensure you’re both on the same page and allow you to move forward in your relationship with a clear vision of the future.

Drawing up a Cohabitation Agreement requires gathering a large amount of information, such as:

  • A realistic market value for any property you own
  • The amounts owing on any mortgages or shared loans
  • Details on the equity split of the home
  • A full breakdown or your financial assets and any individual debts
  • The ownership status of particularly valuable or sentimental items

Although this may seem a daunting task, it will give you a complete picture of where you will stand should the relationship end, as well as having the dual-benefit of resolving any misunderstandings while you are in a good place in your relationship.

Contact us

If you would like to draw up a Cohabitation Agreement, or your relationship has ended without one in place, contact our team of specialist solicitors today.

We will work with you to create a tailored agreement and ensure any break up is fair for both parties.

Call us on 0161 446 1122 or fill in the contact form below to get in touch.

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