A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding document specifically for unmarried couples who are living together under the same roof. Instead of marriage documents that outline who should get what throughout the marriage or in the event of a divorce, a cohabitation agreement specifies financial plans, arrangements for property, and plans for child custody as long as the couple are living together and if they eventually break up, fall ill or pass away.
A cohabitation agreement can save a lot of headaches throughout a relationship – while no one wants to think that their relationship needs legal support, there are many ways in which a cohabitation agreement can make things much simpler for both parties, even if the relationship works out.
So, Why Would You Want A Cohabitation Agreement?
The document can stipulate rules and agreements over a multitude of items, such as:
- Property. Who owns a property? Should the relationship end, does the property ownership change in any way?
- Deposit. Who covers the deposit on your home, or is it a joint effort?
- Pets. Who does the couple’s pet(s) belong to? Who will the pet go with should the relationship end?
- Inheritance. Are you leaving each other your inheritance? Do either one of you have a Will that includes the other?
- Mortgage. If you have a mortgage, who pays what percentage of it?
- Pensions. Do you have access to each other’s pensions, and will that change should the relationship break down?
- Next of Kin. Do you have next of kin rights in the event that your partner is hospitalised?
The above list is not exhaustive. Anything that you may expect to share in a relationship may be entered into the agreement.
Do Cohabitation Agreements Last Forever?
No, the agreement will need to be updated if you:
- Move country
- Purchase property jointly
- Have children
See A Solicitor For Your Cohabitation Agreement
We recommend that you seek legal support to draw up your document, go over all of the fine print and ensure that you fully understand everything involved.
A Solicitor may go over the following with you:
- Savings. What is the value of your savings and do you intend to split it with your partner, and in what amount?
- Investments. Do you have any investments and what are your future plans for the investment and any financial gain it brings?
- Pension value. When does your pension activate and is your partner entitled to access?
- Property. Do you own a property and whose name is it in?
Image Source: Canva