Tag: Cohabiting Couples

What is included in a cohabitation agreement?

Cohabiting couples do not have the same legal protection as married couples, but a cohabitation agreement can offer some protection.

A cohabitation agreement allows couples living together to agree their financial commitments and obligations to each other, to avoid disputes later down the line.

With more people than ever now choosing to cohabit, the lack of legal protection for cohabiting couples can make breakups fraught and messy.

To avoid stressful disputes, many cohabiting couples are now choosing to create a legal cohabitation agreement, to iron out the details about what would happen in the event of a relationship breakdown.

A cohabitation agreement gives couples the opportunity to discuss who owns what, how property and assets should be split, and how children will be supported, should they decide to part ways in the future.

Creating an agreement in advance usually results in fair and realistic decisions being made, which isn’t always the case in the midst of a relationship breakdown.

are a few things that you should sit down and discuss in detail before creating a cohabitation agreement.

Whilst you’re cohabiting:

  • Who owns what?
  • How will bills and living expenses be covered?

In the event of a separation:

  • How will your possessions and assets be divided?
  • How will property be divided?
  • Where would children live?
  • How will children be financially supported?
  • How would money in joint accounts be split?
  • How would overdrafts and debt be split?
  • Who owns each vehicle?

For a cohabitation to be legally binding, you will each need to be able to confirm that you have received independent legal advice and entered into the agreement voluntarily.

For help and advice with a cohabitation dispute or creating an agreement, get in touch with our team of specialists here at Lund Bennett Law by giving us a call on 0161 927 3118.

Third Of Cohabiting Couples Remain Unsure About Property Rights

Many co-habiting couples enter into buying property believing that they will be entitled to the same rights as married couples yet the reality is this isn’t always the case.

The ongoing uncertainty has led to calls for a change in the law which would give co-habiting couples the same or at least similar rights to those enjoyed by married couples. According to a survey from YouGov of 1,000 co-habiting couples, 75% felt that they were entitled to be treated the same way as married couples.

Issues that are often not considered when people buy a home with a partner is how much of the house belongs to each partner. If a property is ultimately split 50/50 even though one partner invested the lions share into it, then this can be seen as very unfair.

A lot depends on circumstances with no automatic right to a share of the property.

With co-habiting couples now the fastest growing type of family in the UK, the current legislation will almost certainly lead to many more individuals suffering from unfair settlements simply because they were unsure of their rights to begin with.

Government initiatives such as Help to Buy have encouraged many people to climb onto the property ladder but for many, the first rung may be as far as they can get if they lose in a batlle to gain their fair share of a property.

Is Law Failing To Keep Up With Cohabiting Couples?

Family Law organisation, Resolution, claim that the law is failing to give cohabiting couples the same protection as married couples.

With cohabiting couples now the fastest growing family type in the past two decades according to Office for National Statistics figures, little has been done to protect couples who separate. When married couples separate there are well established laws to fall back on which can help couples move on while cohabiting couples are left without any rights.

3.3 million families in the UK are now classed as cohabiting couple families which is double what it was twenty years ago. This indicates a real shift in society’s attitudes to marriage. It is becoming increasingly clear that a significant proportion of the population are deciding that cohabitation offers a more flexible arrangement. However, when problems arise as they often do in relationships, it becomes all too easy to leave the relationship.

Many cohabiting couples mistakenly believe that they will be entitled to the same treatment as married couples when there are disputes only to find that there isn’t. The myth of the ‘common law marriage’ often catches many couples out when they decide to explore their legal options.