According to the findings in March 2014 from the Office for National Statistics, “In 2011, 12% of adults living in households in England and Wales were living as part of a cohabiting couple”. This has increased from 9.8% in 2001. According to these statistics “the largest increase in people cohabiting were those aged 40 to 49”.
As a law firm with a well-established family team, most client’s believe that we only deal with relationships when they break down to include advising on the financial and child care implications when either a married or unmarried couple separate.
Sometimes it is therefore not common knowledge that we can also advise in relation to those who do not want to get married but do want to live together in the long term or “cohabit”. Those who are divorced may have also entered into a new relationship and want to move in without getting married again. We can advise in relation to entering into a “Cohabitation” or “Living Together” Agreement, which records the arrangements between two people who want to live together and are not married. The Agreement can also be a useful tool to determine what happens if the couple separate.
A Cohabitation Agreement therefore can be drafted so that it is contractually binding between the couple and it will dictate what will happen upon separation. This can include ownership of any property and what will happen to it. For example will it be transferred to one party if in joint names, will it remain in the sole name of one party with no entitlement by the other party or how will the proceeds of sale be divided if it has to be sold? It can deal with ownership of certain belongings and monies that have been saved or invested. It can determine who will remain living in the property and whether there would be any continued financial support made to an individual. It can also include what will happen in relation to the child care arrangements if there are any children born from the relationship.
If you would like any more information in relation to Cohabitation/Living Together Agreements then please either book a free half hour appointment with a member of our Family Team on 01606 48777 or drop in to one of the free out of hours advice surgeries.