Cohabitation Law Solicitors

Each partnership and family is different, so we can tailor a cohabitation agreement to suit you.

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How can our Cohabitation Rights lawyers help you?

Living with someone is usually wonderful – but just as with marriage, it can end up going wrong. In fact, most surveys suggest that if you cohabit, you are more likely to end up splitting up than if you marry.

So, what rights do co-habiting couples have who split up?

You may have heard of the expression ‘common law marriage’ to describe people who live together but aren’t actually married. It sounds like it has a legal basis, and therefore provides safeguards, but it doesn’t. Living together with someone you are not married to means you do not have the same protections.

Whether you’re embarking on cohabitation or looking at your options after a split, Bison Solicitors can help. We’re based in Aldershot, Hampshire, and we also have offices in Manchester, Somerset, Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Wight. We work with many co-habiting couples to protect their property and other financial rights.

Our team of family lawyers also works with individuals when marriages and other relationships break down – for more details, please see our Divorce and Separation page

Where do civil partnerships fit in?

In the UK, civil partnerships for same-sex couples have been around since 2004, with same-sex marriages legal in England and Wales since 2014. Couples of opposite sexes have had the option of civil partnerships in England and Wales since late 2019.

There are a few minor differences in law between marriage and civil partnership, but in general rights are very similar. So you shouldn’t need a cohabitation agreement if you are in a civil partnership.

Why opt for a cohabitation agreement?

If you are neither married nor in a civil partnership but simply living together, then having a cohabitation agreement makes excellent sense.

It may all sound a bit unromantic to draft a cohabitation agreement when you move in together, but in the long run both you and your partner could be grateful for having one in place.
Our team will make the process of drafting an agreement as positive as possible, highlighting the advantages to being prepared and giving both you and your partner peace of mind.

A cohabitation agreement is legally binding. It helps to clarify how you plan to manage your finances while together – which is no bad thing in itself, even if you do end up living happily ever after.

But if you do split up, then a professionally drafted cohabitation agreement gives you certainty about how to divide up your property and other financial matters. It also clarifies your rights in other areas. A written agreement like this doesn’t just help to solve arguments; it can prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Let us help you today with cohabitation rights

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What a cohabitation agreement covers

In most cases, the agreement will apply to the following:

  • Property ownership – for example equal ownership, or one person receiving a greater share, depending on who pays all or most of the mortgage.
  • Furniture, personal belongings and other assets – identifying who owns what at the outset gives both of you peace of mind and can save a lot of heartache later.
  • Who contributes to the mortgage, bill payments, household expenses and other costs.
  • Resolution of the issue of joint mortgage and/or bank accounts.

An agreement may also cover provision for any children you may have, whether you had them together or separately. For more details, please see our Child Care Law page

Cohabitation – your rights without an agreement

If you split up with your partner and don’t have a cohabitation agreement then the good news is that you still have rights. Even better, we can be here to help you navigate this difficult time, when you may be facing uncertainty and financial loss.

We understand that behind every door and every break-up is a different story. Your relationships, family and living situation will be unique to you.

Your Bison solicitor will outline your options going forward. They will provide you with crystal-clear legal advice, helping to resolve your issues as quickly and efficiently as possible and be able to look forward to a new future with confidence.

Get started with a free initial session

Whether you are looking to draft a cohabitation agreement or looking to move forward after a break-up, Bison can help. Your initial 30-minute consultation session is available free. For details, please contact Bison Solicitors today on +44 (0)1252 268068

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