Often, when a relationship develops it is common for those involved to ‘move to the next level’ by deciding to live together, without thinking about the legal ramifications of doing so (which might well be the last thing on their mind!) No-one entering into such an important stage of the relationship would for a moment wish to entertain the thought that the relationship might fail, and any ‘negativity’ might be thought of as putting a damper on the whole relationship.
However, unfortunately when co-habitation disputes occur there is no Matrimonial or Civil Partnership law to guide the parties and as the whole situation (who owns what) is governed by the Common Law the settlement of such disputes can be very costly indeed.
As an alternative to ‘trusting to luck’ it is becoming ever more popular to benefit from professional advice prior to cohabitation which is essential to protect the rights to assets/property/shares where equal financial contributions are being made. After receiving advice it might be considered helpful for peace of mind to enter into a ‘Cohabitation Agreement’ to determine ownership of property and assets and setting out the financial obligations of the cohabitees. The situation is of course all the more important where the cohabitees have children from previous relationships and certainty is required.
Whilst the concept of a Cohabitation Agreement might seem far from romantic, there are many situations where such certainty will provide the comfort required to allow the relationship to flourish.
Furthermore, if your relationship has recently ended and you need to establish your legal entitlement to property and assets outside of marriage, we will be happy to advise you.
We may be able to act on a fixed fee for preparing the Cohabitation Agreement.