In modern times, the once-popular idea of getting married to the one you love has started to decline. Many couples are uneasy about marriage, either for worries about a lengthy divorce process if they separate or due to the financial impact that a divorce would have. Of course, there is nothing wrong with not marrying your partner but, unfortunately, it can create a bit of a grey area in regards to the law and your rights post-separation.

Signing a marriage certificate allows a more clear cut and less complicated scenario if you seperate, but if you and your partner want to live together first or don’t want to tie the knot at all, there are now ways you can secure any financial partnerships you have started together, as well as any other joint financial responsibilities.

At Prentice Family Law, our divorce solicitors in Guildford can help couples who aren’t married to get a legal claim in properties purchased by both parties. Our team is able to draw up a legally binding document called a cohabitation agreement, to ensure that should you and your partner separate, you won’t lose your share of this most expensive of assets.

But what are some of the questions our divorce solicitors in Guildford are asked about cohabitation agreements? Read on to learn more about this legal area.

What financial issues does a cohabitation agreement cover?

As previously mentioned, any houses that you and your partner own will be covered under a cohabitation agreement; this also includes any properties that you have bought to rent to others. Similarly, a cohabitation agreement can also cover the division of debts, household bills, or other assets, such as stocks or shares.

Is it legally enforceable in the UK?

Of course!

Our divorce solicitors in Guildford can draw up this document for you and ensure that it is written in such a way to make it legally enforceable.

It is advisable to have your cohabitation agreement updated as and when changes occur, such as the birth of children, to ensure it is up to date.

What happens to mine and my partner’s debts?

Under the terms of cohabitation agreements, you and your partner will be liable for your own debts.

If however, you have a joint debt, such as a mortgage, then you will both be legally responsible for paying it off.

What if we want to get married?

If you and your partner want to marry in the future, our team at Prentice Family Law will be able to ensure that the terms of the agreement can be enforced in the event of divorce.

Alternatively, you can agree to terminate your cohabitation agreement in the event of marriage, and opt for a premarital contract.

Who will deal with our agreements if we seperate?

Typically, this will be handled by a family solicitor, specialised in mediation.

Our team at Prentice Family Law is trained in mediation and can help you avoid costly court fees as the first port of call.