Cohabitation Agreements-why every couple living together needs one

Cohabitation Agreements-why every couple living together needs one

If you live with your partner or are planning on doing so, you should always seriously consider entering into a cohabitation agreement. This is a legal document for unmarried couples setting out arrangements for finances, property and children while you’re living together and if you split up, become ill or die.

If you separate even after a long relationship, you will not automatically have rights like married couples – even if you’ve lived together for a long time and have children together. This can leave you in a precarious situation through no fault of your own. The concept of a common-law wife and acquiring rights just from living with someone and paying towards bills such as food is unfortunately a myth.

Our specialist family solicitors at Prince Evans are here to help and can prepare a cohabitation agreement for you, making sure it is legally binding to protect your rights and money for the future.

You can enter into a cohabitation agreement at any time. However, it’s ideal to do this before you move in together or alternatively, if your circumstances are changing for example, you are having children or are buying a property. It is never too late to have a document drafted, even after years of living together. It can still give you some much needed protection and invaluable peace of mind

A cohabitation agreement can make sure you have:

  • a share of each other’s assets
  • access to each other’s state pension
  • next of kin rights in a medical emergency

It can also help you divide up bills and other responsibilities while you live together.

A cohabitation agreement gives you much needed certainty about what would happen if you separated. From our experience, it can be very difficult, and costly, years down the line to prove who paid what, for what purpose and how assets should therefore be divided. Sometimes cases rest on whether promises were made that one party would receive a share of assets in the future which take months and thousands of pounds to get to the bottom of it all. You will see that it is therefore much cheaper and simpler to have an agreement at the outset.

If you already have a cohabitation agreement, we can review this with you if there have been changes in your circumstances, and therefore this may mean that changes need to be made to make sure it is still valid and legally binding.

Contact our family team today on 020 8280 2710 to discuss a cohabitation agreement tailor made to your circumstances and needs.