Have you and your partner been living together for a while?

In the years gone by, that would mean getting married or having children, but with younger couples going off of these ideas (or if you already have children), it may be worth cementing your responsibilities in your living arrangements with a cohabitation agreement.

At Prentice Family Law, our divorce solicitors in Weybridge can help you with the wording and drawing up a cohabitation agreement to ensure that should the worst happen between you and your current partner, your legal rights are maintained.

Want to know more about a cohabitation agreement? Read on for a brief guide from our divorce solicitors in Weybridge.

What is a cohabitation agreement?

In simple language, according to our divorce solicitors in Weybridge, a cohabitation agreement is a legal document that records the living arrangements of two or more people who are currently or will soon be living together. It is typically entered into if an unmarried couple is buying a property.

This document contains each person’s responsibilities relating to the property, such as division of rent, etc. and the responsibilities relating to children that the couple has together.

So, it is similar to many other couple-based documents, except you don’t need to walk down the aisle to have it drawn up!

Getting a cohabitation agreement

A solicitor with an area of expertise around family law will be able to draw up a cohabitation agreement, and the document can be written up before you move in together or if you are currently cohabiting.

If you and your partner choose to get married, then your cohabitation agreement will be voided instead of a marriage certificate and license.

Benefits of a cohabitation agreement

There are many advantages of having a cohabitation agreement drawn up between you and your partner.

For instance, if you and your partner choose to separate in the future, but both of you have invested money into your home, a cohabitation agreement can minimise issues around the division of wealth in the property.

It also allows you the flexibility to arrange your financial affairs separately from that of your partner’s, as each of you is responsible for your debt and have no legal obligation to pay each other off.

In a similar vein, it avoids issues around money that can come with traditional marriage; there is no need to quibble about finances following a separation as there would be with divorce. And, if you are living with your spouse and a member of their family, for instance, a cohabitation agreement can be adapted to include multiple people, making it more adapted to the ever-so-common trend of living with friends and having housemates.

Legal status in the UK

Property affairs relating to people mentioned within a cohabitation agreement are enforceable through the document. And while it is uncommon for this to be required, it can be legally enforced in the UK at this current time.

If you have some questions about a cohabitation agreement or would like to begin having one drawn up, contact our team at Prentice Family Law today.