Introduction to cohabitation agreements
The concept of “common law husband and wife” is a popular myth within England and Wales. This myth has led many people over the years to assume wrongly that after a period of time living together, couples will enjoy the same legal rights as married couples. In legal terms, however, the popular definition is meaningless. While it is possible for a cohabitee to acquire an equitable interest in their partner’s property or other assets without an express agreement in some circumstances, such interests are not clearly defined and are often the source of complex legal disputes between couples. The result is that, unfortunately, many people who cohabit fail adequately to protect themselves or their assets in the event of a relationship breakdown. Cohabitation agreements are therefore broadly recognised as the best way for cohabiting couples to prepare for the future, especially where children are involved. For more details please see our guide to cohabitation agreements.
How Vardags can help with cohabitation agreements
If you and your partner are considering moving in together (or are already living together) and your home is held in your or your partner’s sole name, or is being financed by the two of you on an unequal basis, a discussion needs to be had about each party’s expectations with regard to their interests in the property. This discussion needs to be had at the outset and should be formalised within a written agreement prepared by specialised solicitors. Vardags has the benefit of the very best expertise in negotiating and agreeing financial agreements within the context of existing and continuing relationships. As such we strive to ensure that these vital agreements between cohabitants are agreed within a happy and cooperative environment, while leaving our clients in the best possible position for the future. Outside the context of marriage or civil partnership, cohabitation agreements offer cohabiting couples an indispensable opportunity to protect their wealth and express their wishes in relation to financial provision for each other by way of a legally binding contract.
The first step is to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors. Therefore, please call us on 020 7404 9390 or email us to make an appointment to come and see us.