Many couples live together – or co-habit – without getting married. But living together doesn't give you the same legal rights as people who marry. If you’re cohabiting with your partner, therefore, it pays to ensure your financial rights are protected, particularly if children or property are involved.
Risks of not having a cohabitation agreement
As an unmarried couple, you have no legal right to claim maintenance from your partner if your relationship ends, even if you have given up work to care for the home or children.
The only maintenance unmarried former partners must pay is for the benefit of children. Neither of you has to pay maintenance for the other’s living arrangements, for example, or has an automatic right to share the proceeds from the sale of a house that only one of you owned, even if you helped to pay the mortgage.
This means that if you split up, it could lead to significant – and expensive - disagreements about who is entitled to what, and one or other of you could end up in financial distress.
An increasingly popular way to resolve this situation is to draw up a cohabitation agreement with your partner.
What it is a cohabitation agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is a formal document that clearly sets out the ownership of property or other assets, the contributions you will both make, and what happens if the relationship comes to an end.
Cohabitations agreements aim to reduce the stress and uncertainty if you ever break up. They are also useful if one of you dies, as they clearly outline your intentions when you started living together.
Specialists in cohabitation agreements
As experts in cohabitation agreements and cohabitation rights, we can help you draw up a cohabitation agreement that is tailored to your specific circumstances. Our dedicated team of family solicitors and divorce lawyers in Manchester takes the time to understand your situation and your needs. We can also call on other specialist expertise within our firm to provide a seamless service if you’re buying a house or preparing a will, for example.
To learn how Lyons Wilson Solicitors in Manchester could help you draw up a cohabitation agreement, simply email the family law and divorce law team at our Manchester office on email@example.com or call us on 0161 830 7756 for a free, no obligation consultation.