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Cohabitation Agreement Lawyers

Cohabitation is the term given to an unmarried couple who live together on a permanent basis (cohabiting). If an unmarried couple separate, the law is different to that applied to a married couple, or civil partners, as they cannot get divorced and therefore a different process is needed to deal with any resulting disputes or arrangements.

Many people believe that, if they live together for a defined period of time, they effectively have what’s known as a Common Law marriage. Common Law marriage is, in fact, a myth. Therefore it is best to speak to a family law solicitor if you are thinking about living with someone.

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When should I get a cohabitation agreement?

We advise all couples planning to live together to consider entering in to a cohabitation agreement to give you some clarity about how you will live together specifically in terms of your financial arrangements. A cohabitation agreement is – effectively – a contract between you. You can include whatever you like within the cohabitation agreement, but our team of family law solicitors can help advise you as to what it is important to include and what does not need to be covered within the document.

Cohabitation agreements can also assist in the event that one half of the couple dies. However, should you get married at any point after making the cohabitation agreement, it may then have limited, or no, effect.

What is a cohabitation agreement?

Cohabitation agreements are contracts that are entered into by the cohabiting couples. They are advisable not only for couples who live together romantically, but also for people who, perhaps, buy a house together or share their finances.

The legal rights of a cohabiting couple upon a relationship breakdown are very different to those who are married. For example, one cohabitee cannot claim a share of the other’s pension or ask the other for maintenance to assist with their own costs of living – only for those of a child of the family – whereas a spouse is entitled to make such claims.  When you buy a house with a partner  it is also advisable to think about the legalities, such as what would happen if one of you were to die? What would happen if you separate? It is also advisable to consider entering into a Declaration of Trust, particularly if one of you is making a greater contribution to the purchase price.

Because of the difficulties an unregulated cohabiting relationship can bring on separation, we at Hawkins Family Law always recommend looking at whether a cohabitation agreement would be appropriate in order to clearly define how the assets are held and what will happen should the relationship not work out.

How much does a cohabitation agreement cost?

The cost of drawing up cohabitation agreements will vary depending upon the complexity of the terms and assets involved. We would suggest that you contact our team of specialist family law lawyers in order to discuss your situation in more detail. We can then give you a more accurate estimate of the costs that are likely to be incurred.

Why Hawkins Family Law?

We are a specialist law firm, focusing solely on family law matters. Established in 2001, our team are all ‘people’ people and are committed to producing rounded outcomes for our clients, offering expertise in whatever forum works best for you, always aiming to bring matters to a swift conclusion.

Our family law solicitors will offer tailored legal support from the moment we start working with you. We can provide legal advice and assistance in relation to cohabitation agreements and any other related family law issues.

With Hawkins Family Law you can be assured of our consistently high levels of support and guidance.

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