Cohabitation Law

If living together stops being cosy, we have a plan to protect your interests

Cohabitation Law

More and more unmarried couples are choosing to live together, but many are failing to recognise their lack of protection if they separate.

Cohabiting couples have very few legal rights compared to those who are married or in a civil partnership, and this means that the risks can be high if the right arrangements aren’t in place.

While getting married isn’t for everyone, arranging legal protection if something were to go wrong should be a top priority, particularly if no ‘legally binding’ commitment has been made.

This is where our cohabitation solicitors can help. We’re able to advise you on all of the legal implications of cohabiting, as well as mediating and arranging agreements that provide security for both partners.

Until the law catches up with some of the modern ways of living, protecting your interests in the event of a relationship breakdown, must be considered carefully. From cohabitation agreements or a declaration of trust, to defending your interests if you find yourself being unfairly treated, our specialists have you covered.

  • We advise opposite and same-sex couples on cohabitation (living together) agreements, children arrangements, and property and financial rights
  • It’s a highly contentious area of family law. We have the skills and track record of success to protect your interests, whether through negotiating agreements, mediation or if necessary, through the courts
  • Our agreements give you financial transparency as a couple living together, as well as a plan for how assets would be split if you were ever to part

Cohabitation agreements: the benefits
A cohabitation agreement guards against future problems by clearly setting out the financial terms of your relationship: who owns what, who owes what and who contributes to what. If you have children or personal wealth to protect, such as investments or property, it can help keep them safe.

The best time to put an agreement in place is before moving in together, but it’s never too late to set one up or seek advice if you’re feeling financially vulnerable. It can help to formalise your financial position and give you peace of mind if your circumstances change.

Why choose Shakespeare Martineau?

  • We are a top 55 law firm with a well-established reputation as experts in cohabitation law.
  • We provide more than just legal solutions – your peace of mind is a priority for our cohabitation lawyers, who always take a personal approach to advising clients.
  • Our team have extensive experience in making legal arrangements for a wide range of cohabiting situations, enabling them to determine the solution that’s right for you.

The misconception of common law marriage
There’s no such thing as a ‘common law’ husband or wife. People who live together have no automatic right to their partner’s income or assets if they separate and claims against property are especially tricky to prove. Arranging legally-binding agreements will help to protect your financial interests and can also be used to defend your position should you need to.

Flexibility

Your journey through the legal process
Having spent decades representing couples in all aspects of family law – including challenging and shaping the law – we’re experts in getting you the protection you want and need in your relationship.

Not everyone is aware of how the process of engaging cohabitation lawyers works, so we’ve provided an overview below to give you some peace of mind:

  • Once you’ve submitted a contact form via the enquire now panel to the right of this page or by using the button below, you’ll be assigned to a member of our team.
  • A member of our team will call you within 24 hours to gain some further details and arrange a free 30-minute consultation on the phone to discuss the issues you’re facing.
  • Should you then decide that you wish to use our services, you’ll receive a breakdown of all our costs and a pack of on-boarding documents. We will work closely alongside you to ensure that whichever family issue you are facing we are here to support you and find you the right solution.
  • After that, a further one-hour meeting at a fixed fee cost to get to know you and your family needs with no additional charges if the call goes over an hour.

Whether you are in the early stages of moving in together, or already living together and are considering a cohabitation agreement, get in contact with us today using the button below for a free consultation.

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Request a free call back

Submit your details below and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation call back at a time to suit you.

Frequently asked questions

We've put together some commonly asked questions on cohabitation agreements and how they work. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

A cohabitation agreement (also known as a ‘living together agreement’) is a legally-binding signed document that records the financial arrangements between two or more people who have agreed to live together, either as a couple or otherwise.

A cohabitation agreement will usually address:

  • who owns (and owes) what at the time of the agreement, and in what proportions;
  • what financial arrangements you have decided to make while living together; such as who will pay the rent, mortgage or household bills; and
  • how property, assets and income will be divided if the relationship breaks down.
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