Family Solicitor, Heidi Cardoza, answers some frequently asked questions about post-cohabitation agreements.
What is it?
It is a legally binding document between an unmarried couple.
Why should we have one?
To regulate your affairs in relation to money, property and children and to deal with these matters in the event of a relationship breakdown.
What are the benefits?
- It provides assurance and certainty. A court cannot revise ownership of property, or right of occupation (unlike divorce proceedings.) You need to make arrangements yourself.
- An Agreement will set out what shares each party has in any property that you live in
- It will specify who pays for what outgoings and in what proportion
- Who will own the contents bought for the property
- The Agreement can, if wished, govern such matters as joint bank accounts and joint liabilities
What are the risks?
- Believing that you have rights which do not exist
- Misunderstanding and confusion
- Hostility and expensive legal arguments in the event of separation
- Expensive legal proceedings or negotiations
Will I have to disclose my financial position?
Yes. In order for an Agreement to be effective you should both make a disclosure of your financial position.
Heidi says ”Even if you have been living together for several years a Cohabitation Agreement can still be made. Unmarried couples do not have the same rights as a married couple. When married couples divorce a Court will share out the assets of the marriage. This is not so if an unmarried couple separate or one partner dies without leaving a Will. Your partner’s estate will not automatically pass to you but to their immediate family.”
For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.