Cohabitation Agreements

Rebecca Oakley Family Law Solicitors Cardiff your expert family lawyer for Living Together Agreement  / Cohabitation  Agreement Cardiff
There is no such thing as a ‘common law spouse’. The relationship of unmarried couples, no matter how long they have been living together has no has no special legal status.

On the breakdown of the relationship, cohabitees have no right to make a claim against the other for maintenance or a share of their assets.

However, it may be possible for a parent to make a claim on behalf of a child (of the relationship) in their care.

Drawing up a cohabitation agreement is the best way of protecting your respective financial positions if the relationship breaks down. Handled sensitively, discussing and entering into a cohabitation agreement can avoid anxiety, stress and insecurities of both parties concerns as to what would happen if the relationship were to breakdown. In many cases discussing a cohabitation agreement can also be a natural introduction to discussing how the parties should address day to day financial management of the home.

The Cohabitation agreement should include:

  • what rights each partner has in relation to the home
  • other assets and its ownership
  • debts.
  • sharing of expenses while you live together.
  • arrangements for the financial support of children, either of the relationship or with a
    previous partner.

A cohabitation agreement made with the intention of being legally enforceable and expressing that
intent in the document is legally enforceable so long as it is fair, and that each party has had the
benefit of independent legal advice after exchange of open and honest financial information.

You cannot exclude the authority of the Court or the CSA to make decisions about the children of
your relationship.

If you later marry your cohabitee (or form a civil partnership) ,you ought to enter into an appropriate pre-nuptial agreement of you want the arrangements in the cohabitation agreement or any alterations you make to it , to have the best chance of being respected by the Courts in the event of divorce/civil partnership dissolution.

Unmarried partners will not automatically inherit from each other. You must make a will stating what you want your partner to inherit; otherwise your partner may find him or herself in a position of being made homeless on your death if the home is in your sole name.