Cohabitation agreements are made when a couple are not married but have chosen to live together. These agreements can offer legal protection, not unlike that of a married couple, with regards to money, property and also issues around children. These agreements are not limited to the time that you live together but can also set up an agreement for what happens if you were to split up.
How is a cohabitation agreement made?
Each partner will need to instruct an independent solicitor, however, at JMR Solicitors we always conduct these types of negotiations in a friendly and non-hostile manner. Negotiations can be dealt with either by way of correspondence or by face-to-face meetings with each party and their instructing solicitors in attendance.
What are the benefits of having a cohabitation agreement?
Having a cohabitation agreement in place will provide clarity and certainty should the relationship break down irretrievably. Unlike with divorce proceedings, any ownership, rights of occupation or other terms set out in the agreement cannot be revised by a court if the relationship ends. This means that the terms need to be agreed by both parties at the outset. The benefit of this is clarity for both parties as to what money, property or ownership will be theirs and the certainty that this cannot change and leave either party dissatisfied.
These agreements can be reviewed if both parties agree, for example, if a child is born, to make arrangements more suitable to major lifestyle changes. A cohabitation agreement can be made at any point of cohabitation, as long as both parties agree to it. However, having an agreement in place at the start of a cohabiting relationship can help to avoid any hostility and often long and expensive legal arguments should a separation occur without such an agreement.