When couples are considering cohabitation, they often do not consider the consequences of a breakdown in their relationship in relation to financial and property matters.
Upon separation, expensive litigation may be the only option for those couples who do not seek to regulate their respective positions.
There is a common misconception about the existence of the common law spouse and the rights that are acquired in property because of that status. In fact, there is no such legal status and no single law protecting rights of the cohabitee. Whether you are considering setting up home with your partner either by purchasing property together or moving in to a property which is already owned by them, it is imperative that you seek advice as to how your position can be protected in the event of a future breakdown in your relationship.
How we can help:
You could save yourself a lot of money and heartache by making a formal contract, known as a COHABITATION AGREEMENT. This can deal with all the problems that can arise if the worst should happen, and your relationship breaks down.
Do you own the property equally or in different shares? Who will be entitled to live in the property if the relationship breaks down? Is it to be sold or will one of you be entitled to buy the other party out, and if so who has the first option to purchase the others share? How long do they have to raise the cash?
Who be responsible for paying the mortgage and the bills?
How will the furniture and other contents be divided - equally, or will they belong to the person who purchased them?
Who will be responsible for joint loans? Will each person be responsible for loans in their sole name irrespective of it the monies have been used for joint benefit?
A cohabitation contract can deal with the above issues to save you the expense of litigation if your relationship breaks down. Nobody wants to believe that a relationship might not work out, and making a formal agreement can seem very cold-blooded, as if you don’t believe that the relationship will last. But an agreement is like an insurance policy – you don’t expect to be burgled or have a car crash, but people still insure against those possibilities.
If you have an enquiry in relation to a Family law matter or simply want to speak to a member of our expert team, please get in touch.