At K J Smith Solicitors we are experienced in drawing up Cohabitation Agreements to help protect couples that are living together (cohabiting). These agreements are becoming increasingly popular as the number of couples in England and Wales who are getting married is slowly declining.
Currently there is very little legislation in place to protect unmarried couples who live together and have children if their relationship was to come to an end. This could lead to issues in future over ownership and entitlement to things like personal assets, property, child care and residency.
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Cohabitation Agreements provide the framework for unmarried couples who want to live together and want to protect themselves from unnecessary cost and litigation should their relationship break down.
In the agreement they can regulate their property rights and what arrangements might be made for issues such as mutual financial support, dealing with debt and caring for children.
Cohabitation Agreements also allow the couple to pre-determine who is entitled to specific assets and what will happen to assets that have been jointly purchased if they were to separate. A cohabitation Agreement is intended to be legally binding upon both parties.
Regardless of whether you already have a cohabitation agreement or are in the process of obtaining one, it is important that cohabitating couples know their rights for particular assets such as property, finances and even the rights to their own children.
For unmarried couples who have children, only the mother has sole parental responsibility, however the partner of the mother can obtain parental responsibility through a number of ways, including:
Many people still believe in common law marriage and the reality is that cohabitating couples who separate are not entitled to the same financial support as those who are married.
If unmarried couples wish to protect their assets, a cohabitation agreement can reduce any disputes that could occur if there wasn’t a cohabitation agreement put in place.
Although Cohabitation Agreements are not the most romantic of gestures, they can act as a clear distribution of finances and record of ownership; this includes personal items such as furniture or vehicles, which can be claimed by the owner at the end of the cohabitation.
One of the main benefits of a Cohabitation Agreement is that it establishes some practical guidelines for both parties regarding your relationship. Having these guidelines in black and white can make things much clearer, not to mention less painful in the event of a break up. Everyone's personal situation and circumstances are different so every agreement will need to be different.
We offer a free initial 45 minute appointment to give you the opportunity to meet us and find out more about Cohabitation Agreements before deciding if you wish to proceed in instructing us to act on your behalf.
Please contact K J Smith Solicitors today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 020 7070 0330 (London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke), 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield), 01235 375500 (Abingdon) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have offices in Henley-on-Thames, London, Reading, Windsor, Basingstoke, Guildford, Beaconsfield and Abingdon, however we do offer our services to a broad range of areas including Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, Wokingham, and High Wycombe.