cohabitation agreement

Cohabitation Agreement

In the last 15 years there was a sharp increase in the number of cohabiting couples that led to a rise in complex legal disputes when these relationships come to an end.

The number of unmarried couples has doubled since the mid 1990s. In contrary to common belief, an unmarried couple doesn’t have the same legal protection as those who are married. This can mean that one partner can be left without nothing, as the law treats their property as separate.

What is cohabitation agreement?
A cohabitation agreement, also known as living together agreement, is a legal document, enforceable by the court if it is properly executed and providing you have both been truthful about your finances and each obtained separate legal advice upon its terms. Such an agreement is used to set out which partner owns what and in what portion of the shared assets. It also let’s you document how the shared property, personal belongings, contents of the property, savings and other assets will be split after the break-up. It can also cover other things like supporting and maintaining children, as well as dealing with bank accounts, debts, and joint purchases, such as a car.

The cohabitation agreement can also cover things like:

  • Deposit on shared home
  • Life insurance
  • Pets
  • Pensions
  • Next of kin rights

You have no direct legal rights in a relationship if you are not married or in a civil partnership except in respect of mutually owned assets.

What are the benefits of getting a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement can provide peace of mind, as it can protect either or both of you during break up. By coming to an agreement, before or whilst living together you will:

  • Have clear understanding of your financial commitments 
  • Avoid misunderstandings regarding the ownership of the property, your rights, and responsibilities
  • Avoid difficulties and disagreements if you split up.
  • Having clear evidence if court proceedings are required.

Why do you need a cohabitation agreement?
The law in the UK currently does not give any financial protection to people cohabiting unless they are married. If a non-marital relationship comes to an end, this can leave one party completely destitute if they have no assets of their own. For more information on detailed aspects of cohabitation law and cohabitation agreement, contact us on 01983 632006 or email us on