If you are intending to live (or are already living) with your partner but are not married you may want to consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement. This will help you to decide on the division of property or other assets in the event that the relationship breaks down.
A Cohabitation Agreement deals with the living and financial arrangements between you and your partner, addressing issues such as ownership of property and belongings and how these will be divided in the event of a relationship breakup. People often choose to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement in order to protect their assets and to agree how their day-to-day finances are to be shared whilst cohabiting. Whilst this may seem unromantic, it will provide clarification over respective interests in the assets and will lessen the risk of a dispute in the future in the event of a relationship breakdown.
You can enter into a Cohabitation Agreement at any time, but if you are planning to move in with your partner, then it would be sensible to make the agreement beforehand.
Is the agreement legally binding?
Cohabitation Agreements are governed under contract law, so to ensure that the agreement is legally binding, it is important that the agreement meets certain criteria:
- Both parties must intend the agreement to be legally binding. This means that you and your partner should seek independent legal advice.
- The agreement must be signed and witnessed as a Deed.
- The terms of the agreement must not be vague or uncertain.
- The agreement must not be made under duress or coercion.
It is therefore vital that, prior to entering into a Cohabitation Agreement, you seek legal advice. Our lawyers have considerable expertise and experience of negotiating and preparing Cohabitation Agreements. We also recognize the need to do this as sensitively as possible to avoid acrimony between you and your partner as well as unnecessary costs.