What is a Cohabitation Agreement & Why Do I Need One?

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What is a cohabitation agreement and why do I need one?

More couples are choosing to live together without being married this is known as cohabitation. Cohabitating couples are in a very different position to married couples because they do not acquire legal rights no matter how long they live together. Therefore, it is important you protect yourselves by speaking to a solicitor about a cohabitation agreement.

In this article, we explain what is a cohabitation agreement and why you need one.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

Firstly, let’s start off by explaining what is a cohabitation agreement. It’s a legal agreement for couples who live together, but are not married or in a civil partnership. Essentially it is a legally binding contract with the person you live with, which considers the arrangement of personal affairs such as ownership of the property and can even cover how household costs will be met.

Also, it is a form of protection if the relationship breaks down or if your partner passes away, you’ll know how assets should be divided and can reduce some of the emotional strain.

Why Do I Need a Cohabitation Agreement?

There is no such thing as a common law marriage for cohabitating couples no matter how long they live together. This means they do not have the same legal rights as married couples or those in a civil partnership, which is why a cohabitation agreement is advised.

The agreement can give couples peace of mind within their relationship because it can help to avoid bitter disputes over property ownership and finances if they split up.

Reasons Why You Need a Cohabitation Agreement

Cohabitating couples shouldn’t wait until problems arise to make an agreement; it is vital they plan ahead to prevent issues in the future. Here are 7 reasons why you need a cohabitation agreement:

  1. You are buying a property with your partner
  2. One partner is paying more into the purchase of a property than the other
  3. You would like to decide who will pay certain debts or bills
  4. The proportion of share in the property each person will hold
  5. What would happen to assets if you separate from your partner
  6. If you have children or are hoping to have them in the future
  7. You want to avoid costly litigation expenses if you separate

What’s Included in a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement should provide protection and security for couples by outlining how certain things will be dealt with should the couple decide they no longer want to live together.

If you are considering making a cohabitation agreement with your partner here are some things you may want to consider including in the agreement:

  • How much of a share of the property each person owns?
  • How each person will contribute to the household bills e.g., mortgage and utilities etc.
  • How joint bank accounts are dealt with
  • What would happen to the items you have bought together e.g., furniture

How to Make a Cohabitation Agreement?

Our team of Family Law Solicitors are experienced in drawing up tailored cohabitation agreements for couples who are moving in together or are already living together.

If you would like to make a cohabitation agreement please contact Morrish Solicitors on 033 3344 9600, fill in our online contact us form or simply email [email protected] with your request.

Trusted Family Law Solicitors

Morrish Solicitors are a reputable law firm based in West Yorkshire. We offer expert legal advice to clients across the country. Our friendly and professional solicitors can offer legal advice on a range of family matters including:

As members of Resolution, we will always provide you with clear, honest and fair advice suitable to your circumstances. For further information on our services please contact our Family Law Department on 033 3344 9600 or simply email [email protected] with your request.