The effect of cohabitation
As society has changed it has become more common for parties to live together outside of marriage or a civil partnership.
However, unmarried couples living together do not have the same legal rights as a married couple or civil partners. The ‘common law marriage’ simply does not exist in legal terms. Your position could be severely and irreparably prejudiced in the event the relationship breaks down, or on death, without the terms being recorded.
A cohabitation agreement will regulate the terms upon which a cohabiting couple live together and addresses what happens should the relationship end. For example interests in property, financial support such as who pays what and for how long, where any children should live and so on.
Cohabitation agreements – our approach
- We will look at all the issues that may impact on you and advise how to address these in the most appropriate, sensitive and cost-effective way;
- We will consider the options, provide you with guidance on living together or helping you to create ‘living together’ agreements. We can also signpost you to helpful third parties to assist you through the process, such as counselling;
- We aim to adopt a non-adversarial approach to resolving matters and encourage use of Family Mediation and the Collaborative Law model;
- We are issue focused and will look to achieve practical, and cost-effective solutions.
- We follow the Resolution Code of Practice and Family Law Protocol.
A cohabiting couple does not need to be at the end of their relationship for advice to be obtained. The collaborative model may be an ideal forum to agree how you will live together and how assets should be dealt with in the event of separation. Family Mediation may also be appropriate should your relationship break down and there are unresolved issues.