A big ‘thank you’ Richard from Steve and myself. Your time and attention you gave to both of us was remarkable. I’ve had dealings with many solicitors over the years, but have never received this level of service as you gave.
Cohabitation Agreements, otherwise known as Living Together Agreements, are important documents for those about to live with one another, especially for the first time.
However, despite having children together, and perhaps owning property, many cohabiting couples fail to make any arrangements whatsoever to regulate their relationship. They wrongly assume that the law will look after them if things go wrong. If one partner dies they often wrongly assume their partner will receive everything.
Often there is a belief that there is such thing as a “common law wife” or “common law husband”, this is not the case at all, and so it is necessary when cohabiting to have a Cohabitation Agreement. Remember you are not a married couple in the eyes of the law in England and Wales, you are an un-married couple with very different rights to those who are married or in a civil partnership.
Within a cohabitation agreement you can make financial arrangements for a number of issues that could arise in the event of your separation, such as :
- You can record who the property or land belongs to, what shares you own the same in (if jointly owned, and you can record what contributions you will pay towards household bills, expenses or other outgoings.
- You can agree and record within the document things like personal possessions, what items will be classed as joint property and what will happen to such joint property.
- You can also protect any of your own property free from claim from the other by having a recording that the other person cannot claim a beneficial interest in a property or properties.
- Who is responsible for paying the bills and in what shares
- Whether you plan on having a joint bank account or separate accounts
- Who is responsible for any debt which you might incur during the relationship
- What is to happen to property in the event of separation, ie) is to to be sold and if so in what shares.
- Do you want to clearly mark some of your personal items as belonging to you, these can be annexed in a schedule showing your own personal separate property.
Such agreements can also detail child arrangements, and record child maintenance payments. It should however be noted that such an agreement will never oust the jurisdiction of either the Family Court or the Child Maintenance Service. In other words, the agreement you reach in this regard cannot be enforced, it is just a point of reference to note a common understanding between the parties.
If you own or intend on owning property together, then you should also make sure that you each have a valid Will in place. This is extremely important because most people own property as “joint tenants” and in the event of death the survivor of the jointly owned property would inherit the others share of the property and sometimes that isn`t intended
So if you are thinking of living together, or are already living together, and going to own property and have children, then you really do need a Co-habitation or Living Together Agreement and advice on the making of a Will – so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Cohabitation Agreement/Living Agreement Fixed Fee : £695 + VAT