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Cohabitation agreements

Practical advice on all aspects of cohabitation

Common-Law Husband or Wife is not a recognised legal status for a couple living together for a long period of time. The UK Law regards a couple living together as cohabitation. Cohabitation agreements are becoming increasingly popular as more couples choose to live together without formalising their partnership through marriage, as it helps to protect both individual’s income and assets should the relationship result in separation.

There is no separate statutory code governing the breakdown of the relationship of co-habiting couples. Unlike divorcing spouses, cohabitees must turn to complex and sometimes archaic principles of property, trust and contract law. Difficult issues can arise on the death of one of the parties. We advise on all aspects of cohabitation from the drafting of cohabitation agreements to resolving the complex issues which can arise on separation.

As a firm specialising in all matters affecting private clients, we are particularly well placed to advise on property ownership, tax implications and on all financial claims including those brought on behalf of children for capital and maintenance as well as on other child related issues such as parental responsibility, residence, contact and schooling. We give practical and pragmatic advice and aim to achieve fair solutions whilst keeping conflict to the minimum.

Watson Thomas Solicitors have offices in Fleet, WinchesterGuildfordBracknell, Camberley, Farnborough and Woking.

If you are interested in forming a Cohabitation Agreement with your partner, please call on 0330 311 9849.

FAQ'S On Cohabitation agreements

What is a Declaration of Trust?

A Declaration of Trust is a document that can be prepared when two or more people buy a property together. It is recommended as it sets out whether the property is owned equally between each party, or if one owns more than the other and defines those shares of ownership accordingly.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Cohabitation Agreement outlines how a property that is owned by a cohabiting couple can be dealt with if the couple split up, such as whether the property is to be sold, or if one person gets first refusal to stay in the property. The document can also set out how much money each person has in a joint bank account, and what the funds are meant to be used for, which can stop one person withdrawing a large sum from the joint account unexpectedly by placing an agreed restriction on how much one person can take out.

How can I protect my own assets when cohabiting?

A Cohabitation Agreement works to protect the individual assets owned by each party, as well as any other agreements between you related to finance. It will outline the agreement between both parties that can cover property ownership, other assets such as cars, furniture, personal items as well as joint bank account management, pensions, household bills and insurance policies. It can be as comprehensive as it needs to be to protect your assets.

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