Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

 

It is a fact of modern life that many of us choose to live with our partners, rather than get married. If you are thinking about living with your partner, then you should consider how your assets and any assets you may acquire jointly will be affected. It is a myth that the law recognises "common law" spouses, and protects their interests. It does not. The court will not take into account all the circumstances of your case, such as contributions to the relationship through caring for children, or supporting your partner in his or her career. If you have children, then any claim that you have will be based on their needs only.

It is therefore essential that you clarify at the outset of your cohabitation how you will treat jointly acquired property, and what will happen if the relationship does not work out. At Owen White & Catlin, we can assist with the drafting of cohabitation and trust deeds, the making of wills, and court proceedings if necessary.

COHABITATION AGREEMENTS

A cohabitation agreement is a contract between the two partners in a relationship, which is legally enforceable. To make sure that it is indeed legally enforceable, both parties should consult a solicitor before signing it.

The agreement has two chief purposes:

To agree day to day issues such as payment of bills, home ownership and ownership of assets
To make provisions for a breakup by determining entitlement to assets and payment of bills
Things that the agreement should cover are:

Personal details of the couple
Property, both joint- and individually-owned
Debts carried into the relationship and incurred during it
Arrangements for children, current and future
Whether the couple intend the agreement to be legally binding
Who pays which bills (gas, water, electricity, etc)
Explicitly what should happen were the relationship to end

WHEN ONE PARTNER DIES

The other essential matter for unmarried couples to consider is what might happen when one of you dies. Unless you make a will in favour of your partner, then should you die, your estate will pass to your immediate family under the intestacy rules, rather than to your companion (except their share in the home if they are joint owners and hold as beneficial joint tenants). An unmarried partner will not even be entitled to administer your estate, as they are not a relative of yours. If the relationship is a serious one, then one of the first things you should do is to each make a Will. Wills are indispensable to co-habiting couples wishing to leave property or other valuables to the other.