Why do I Need a Cohabitation Agreement?
Why do I Need a Cohabitation Agreement?
Did you know an unmarried cohabitating couple have no legal rights if they separate? This could mean one party is left with nothing if their relationship was to end.
Cohabitating couples are massively on the rise in the UK! Many couples are choosing to live together and not get married which seems completely normal in this day and age, however, there is a massive problem that arises from them not getting married.
If a married couple divorce they are ordered to divide their finances and assets in a ‘fair’ way.
If a couple chooses to live together but not get married then they actually have no legal rights to any finances or assets that are not in their name. It doesn’t matter if you have been living together for many years, you are still not legally entitled to anything your partner has.
Common-law marriage is a well-known term for an informal marriage or long-term cohabitating couple.
Many people who believe they are in a common-law marriage believe they also have common law marriage rights. Surprisingly this is completely untrue.
It doesn’t matter how many years you have lived with your partner or if you have children together. If you separate you will not be entitled to anything that is not in your name.
A couple has been living in their family home for 20 years, they have 4 children and both parties have been making an equal contribution to pay for their house. However, the house is only owned by the husband.
If this couple were married then by law their house would be split fairly between them if they were to divorce.
If this couple we not married then there is very little legal standing for the wife who does not own the home and its likely she would lose everything if they were to separate.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
A Cohabitation Agreement is a legally binding contract between a cohabitating couple. Another term for it is a living together agreement.
The Agreement outlines what would happen to their current affairs if the relationship were to end. This ensures that both parties do not need to stress about their finances, assets and other possessions once their relationship is over.
What can be included in a cohabitation agreement?
You can include property, debt, ownership of assets and financial agreements within a cohabitation agreement. You are also able to include information regarding how you will pay for your children’s education, clothing and essential needs.
When should you get a cohabitation agreement?
You are able to draw up an agreement at any point in your relationship. Many choose to do so before they move in together or when their circumstances change, if they have children, start a mortgage or one party gives up work to support their children & home life.
A cohabitation agreement is also suitable for friends or flatmates, anyone who cohabitates with someone else is entitled to draw up a cohabitation agreement.
It’s important that you review your agreement every few years or if a life-changing event happens such as the birth of a child.
Drafting a cohabitation agreement
If you would like to enter a cohabitation agreement both parties need to agree and want to enter the agreement. You will need to offer up proof of assets, tenancy or mortgage agreements, proof of earnings and any birth certificates for any children involved.
You will both have to offer full disclosure and be open and honest about your finances. If you don’t, your agreement may not be legally accepted.
Are cohabitation agreements legally binding?
Like most agreements, the judge has the power to ignore the agreement if they see fit, however, if both parties have received legal advice before entering the agreement, and the agreement has been drafted correctly the court will take the agreement into consideration if there was conflict in regards to finances & assets if the relationship was to end.
What happens if you were to get married?
If you were to marry you have two options, either revise the agreement to reflect what you both wish to happen in the event of divorce or you choose to end the agreement.
If you get married you automatically have more legal rights to each other asset and finances, however, if you would still like to protect yourself a prenuptial agreement may be more fitting.
How much does a cohabitation agreement cost?
A cohabitation agreement can cost up to £2000 if drafted by your local high street solicitor, which often puts many cohabitants off! However, this is just a fraction of the cost of what you could lose out on in the event of a break-up.
However, using an online law firm like ourselves could save you thousands.
How can we help?
Quicke Divorce offers a fixed fee Cohabitation Agreement drafted by highly qualified family law solicitors for just £299 with no hourly or hidden charges.
We offer a fast and efficient service, usually completed within 7 working days of purchase. Our qualified family law solicitors will answer any queries and updates ASAP.
Contact one of our friendly and professional advisors today on 01793 384 032 or alternatively, use our live chat feature below.
Order Your Cohabitation Agreement Today
We will manage your agreement from start-finish and ensure that you receive your legally binding contract within 7-10 working days. This service costs just £299 savings hundreds compared to your local high street solicitor.