Family Law

What is a cohabitation agreement?

Are you unmarried but separating? Worried about your rights?

A cohabitation agreement can give you financial assurance should anything happen, and is a great way to start an open, honest relationship.

The legal document can reduce risks of disputes or misunderstandings that might arise during the relationship, giving you a clear idea of your position regarding your responsibilities.

What goes into a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement can be customised to your individual requirements.

Details that can be included are:

  • How property is owned
  • Who will pay the rent, mortgage or other bills
  • What will happen to savings and investments, should you separate
  • What financial provisions will be in place for children
  • How your pensions may be shared
  • What will happen to items you own including pets

Is a cohabitation agreement legally binding?

Courts follow the terms of such an agreement if it meets the following criteria:

  • The agreement has been drafted and executed as a deed
  • Both parties have taken independent legal advice prior to signing and understand the effects of entering it
  • The provisions of the agreement meet the needs of both parties and the agreement is fair
  • Neither party was under pressure to sign
  • Both parties have made full financial disclosure to each other before the agreement was drawn up

If you need help to draw up an agreement or would like further advice regarding separation or divorce, contact our friendly Family Law Team on 01772 799 600.

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