Our cohabitation solicitors’ services in London
Phone: 020 3301 3276
Address: 56 Queen Anne Street, London, W1G 8LA
Email: [email protected]
Our award-winning team
Our specialist team of family lawyers are externally recognised by Resolution, Chambers UK, Legal 500 and the Law Society. In 2019, we were winners of the Medium Law Firm of the Year award at the Law Society Excellence Awards, which was an important moment in our team’s history.
We’re here to guide and support you
Everyone’s situation is unique, so we can advise you on all your options on an initial call with no obligation to move forward unless you feel this is right for you.
Our London cohabitation lawyers’ fees
We offer flexible funding options to cover our cohabitation solicitors’ fees, including Agreed Fees and Litigation Funding where appropriate. Please get in touch to find out more.
Our cohabitation agreement solicitors in London can give unmarried couples living together peace of mind over their future financial security. Putting in place a cohabitation agreement is the best way to protect your financial rights against the risk of a future separation.
It is important to understand that couples who live together without marrying or entering a civil partnership have no automatic legal right to each other’s assets. Making a cohabitation agreement sets out how these assets should be divided. This gives each partner a clear understanding of their position and can reduce the likelihood of future conflict.
We will work closely with you to make sure you have a full account of each person’s assets. We will support you to negotiate the terms of the agreement, then draft it in a way that covers you legally. If you have been asked to sign a cohabitation agreement by your partner, we can review this for you and advise on whether we believe it is in your best interests.
Cohabitation dispute resolution
It is common for disagreements to arise when a couple are living together and most can be resolved privately without needing to call in outside help. However, there can sometimes be complex issues to unpick where talking to an expert may help make things clearer.
Our cohabitation dispute solicitors in London can step in and assist you with finding a positive resolution to any points of conflict. You will benefit from clear advice and what a fair outcome looks like, giving you confidence to work towards a solution that protects your interests.
We are experts in alternative dispute resolution methods including family mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. This gives us the best chance of finding an amicable outcome without allowing tensions to escalate.
Separation for unmarried couples
If your relationship has come to an end, there are likely to be a number of very important matters to resolve, including what happens to the family home and how other assets are divided, as well as arrangements for any children. Getting expert legal advice at an early stage can reduce the likelihood of conflict while making sure your interests are safeguarded.
Our cohabitation lawyers in London regularly advise individuals and couples going through a separation. We can use mediation and collaborative law to help you agree the details of your separation in a friendly, proactive way wherever possible. However, if this is not a suitable course of action, we can assist with any necessary court proceedings.
Cohabitation law FAQs
What is a cohabitation agreement?
Cohabitation agreements are contracts between unmarried partners who are living together that set out how their assets would be divided if they were to one day separate. They are also sometimes called ‘living together agreements’.
What is a cohabiting partner entitled to?
Without a cohabitation agreement, unmarried partners have no legal rights towards each other’s property and other assets. This often comes as a surprise to people who believe they have rights under the principle of being a “common law spouse”. The reality is that there is no such principle in law – the idea of a “common law marriage” is a myth.
Unfortunately, this means that people are often left with financial difficulties when they separate from their unmarried partner. It is not unusual for a person to find themselves homeless if they separate from their cohabiting partner. This is because they will have no right to stay in the shared home if their name is not on the title deeds and mortgage or the tenancy agreement.
This is why it is so essential for cohabiting couples to make a cohabitation agreement to help protect themselves and why taking advice from a family law specialist to create one is always the best approach.
Is a cohabitation agreement legally binding?
A cohabitation agreement is a legal contract, meaning it can be enforced if either party breaches the terms. However, this would only apply if the agreement was correctly prepared in the first place.
To have legal standing, a cohabitation agreement must be:
- Signed by both partners
- Entered into freely by both partners
- Signed only after each partner has made a full disclosure of their assets, debts and any other liabilities
The agreement must also make suitable provision for any children involved or a court is unlikely to enforce it. If the couple’s circumstances change, the agreement would need to be updated to reflect this or, again, it might not be enforceable.
Please speak to our cohabitation agreement solicitors in London for help with creating a cohabitation agreement.
How much does a cohabitation agreement cost in the UK?
The cost of making a cohabitation agreement will depend on your circumstances. In most circumstances, our cohabitation agreement solicitors are able to provide this service on a fixed fee basis, meaning a price will be agreed in advance for the necessary work.
To discuss the cost of making a cohabitation agreement and to receive a quote, please get in touch.
Do you need a solicitor for a cohabitation agreement?
While you can make a cohabitation agreement without a solicitor, this is extremely unwise and may leave you open to financial risk, not to mention the emotions of dealing with a difficult dispute. Any errors in the way the agreement is prepared could mean it is not legally enforceable. It is also important to make sure that no assets or issues are overlooked, which is very easy to do if you do not have expert support. Failing to seek legal advice could also mean that you agree to terms which are not in your best interests.
We strongly recommend speaking to a specialist cohabitation lawyer at an early stage to ensure you fully understand your rights and all of the issues you need to consider when making a cohabitation agreement. Our London cohabitation solicitors will be happy to talk this through with you and answer any questions you might have.
Can my partner kick me out of the family home if we separate?
Your right to stay in the family home will depend on whether your name is on the title deeds and mortgage or the tenancy agreement. If the property is in both your and your partner’s names, then you will have a legal right to stay in the property. However, if the property is only in your partner’s name, then you will have no automatic legal right to stay there and they can require you to leave.
If your partner does try to force you to leave the family home which is in their sole name, you may be able to apply to a court to temporarily prevent this. Before doing so, you should speak to an experienced cohabitation lawyer to understand the likelihood of success and how this process works.
Can you get financial support from your unmarried partner if you separate?
Unless you have a cohabitation agreement that states you will get financial support, then your partner will be under no legal obligation to support you after a separation. However, being unmarried does not affect either person’s financial obligations towards any children. If your former partner has parental responsibility for your children, then they will be legally required to provide support for them in the form of child maintenance.
Are cohabitation and civil partnership the same thing?
Civil partnerships are different from cohabitation as they are a legally recognised relationship, similar to a marriage. Civil partners have equivalent rights to married couples. Cohabitation strictly refers to couples who are living together without getting married or entering a civil partnership. Cohabiting partners do not have the same rights as married couples and civil partners.
Insights for cohabiting couples from our experts
- Cohabitation and separation – what every cohabiting couple should know
- Equitable accounting – what unmarried home owners need to know
- Separation rights for cohabiting couples
- Cohabitation and property: Unmarried co-owners – what documentation should you collate?
- Marriage -v- Cohabitation
- Top Ten Benefits of Mediation
- Co-parenting – essential guidance for separating parents