A guide to Cohabitation Agreements #SolicitorChat with The Law Society.

With the new restrictions in place, many of us are spending a lot of time at home with our partners. But when it comes to living together, what rights do unmarried couples have? And how can a solicitor help you and your partner to protect your individual and shared assets? We discussed this and more during #SolicitorChat.

Join The Law Society and other firms discussing a different topic each week on Thursday mornings at 0900-1000.

When it comes to living together, do unmarried couples have any automatic rights?

There are no automatic personal rights; there is no such thing as common law marriage. Claims can only relate to their home (if they have made a financial contribution or there is an agreement that the ownership would be shared) or the costs of raising a child.

What is a cohabitation agreement and how does it protect unmarried couples who live together?

A cohabitation agreement is a contract, recording the details of how the couple want to organise their lives. It can be useful evidence to back up how the home is to be owned, how the expenses are to be paid and what the parties want to happen if they split up.

Talk us through the steps a solicitor will go through when helping a couple to make a cohabitation agreement.

A solicitor will explain what claims could be made about the home and any children, take detailed instructions and advise as to what clauses are suitable to include in the agreement. Every couple have different circumstances – bespoke advice is essential.

What are the main areas unmarried couples should consider when deciding what provisions to make in their cohabitation agreement?

Couples should consider who is going to own the house, who is going to pay the outgoings on the house, who will pay for any necessary repairs, what will happen if they separate and who should move out and when.

When should a couple consider updating their cohabitation agreement?

All cohabitation agreements should be reviewed whenever there is a change of circumstances, such as the birth of a child, a change in any financial arrangements, the purchase of a new property and a marriage.

The contents of this article are intended as guidance for readers. It can be no substitute for specific advice. Consequently we cannot accept responsibility for this information, errors or matters affected by subsequent changes in the law, or the content of any website referred to in this article. © Mundays LLP

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