When you start out on a new relationship the last thing on your mind is what should happen if the relationship does not stand the test of time.
You both invest time and money in the home and it is sensible to plan ahead as a precautionary measure as to how those assets are to be divided in the future.
You should plan for who is responsible for the bills, any debts, share of the equity, ﬁnances and the future living arrangements and access to the children.
Cohabitation agreements (or ‘living together agreements’) are designed to protect both parties just in case something goes wrong down the line, and they should do so with the least amount of stress or disagreement.
Although you can attempt to draft your own agreement, it is essential that both you and your partner seek independent legal advice – otherwise it is unlikely that your agreement would be upheld by a Court. Without evidence that both parties were professionally advised, it would be easy for either to claim ‘undue influence’ – i.e. “my partner made me sign it”.
If you don’t have a cohabitation agreement and you split up, it can be difficult to know what both of you intended regarding the finances. Things can get particularly complicated if you both lived in a property that only one of you owned. You might be surprised that even if you have contributed financially, you might not be entitled to a share of the home unless this was expressly agreed. Even where there was an agreement, this will often be spoken – and people remember things differently months or years down the line.
Our blog article ‘The importance of having a cohabitation agreement‘ highlights how time consuming and stressful it can be if the parties do not put their agreement into writing and subsequently separate.
April King are specialists in handling matters of a delicate family nature and we look forward to being of assistance.
Call us today to discuss making a cohabitation agreement in conﬁdence on 08700 120 130. We have 29 offices across the East and West Midlands and your first meeting is free and without obligation.
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