Entering into a cohabitation agreement is highly advisable if you are considering moving in with a partner or a loved one. People who live together are known as Cohabitees and they do not have the same rights or benefits as a married couple do. For instance, a cohabitee will not automatically inherit the estate if his or her partner passes away nor can a cohabitee claim maintenance from their partner in the event their relationship breaks-down. Therefore, if you are going to live with your partner, entering into a cohabitation agreement could protect both of you in the future.
A cohabitation agreement is a legal contract entered into by a couple who have chosen to live together in the absence of marriage or a civil partnership. It is tailored to your specific needs and reflects the terms of the agreements made at the start of or during your relationship. It should make clear who owns what in relation to assets, how you have decided to deal with individual and joint debts, financial support and income and decisions regarding children, inheritance and wills. There should be an exchange of relevant information concerning both parties’ finances and the agreement should be entered into without pressure on either side.
Although a cohabitation agreement is not legally binding, if disputes do arise following the breakdown of a relationship, this agreement goes to show what you and your partner intended to happen, thus minimising the need to enter into protracted litigation and providing to you peace of mind entering into this new stage of your life, feeling safe and financially secured.
An agreement of this nature is therefore deemed to be a sensible step to take, which will only add to strengthen your relationship.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors provide a team of specialist family law solicitors who are able to advise you further with the drafting of a cohabitation agreement and on disputes following the breakdown of a relationship.
To speak to one of our experienced lawyers please call on 0207 923 4020 or visit us at:www.duncanlewis.com. We look forward to hearing from you