The law states that unmarried couples whose children have been born since December 2003 automatically have joint parental responsibility, provided that they are both registered on the child’s birth certificate. Other than that, the concept of common-law marriage is somewhat of a myth, meaning that when cohabitees split up, the distribution of property and assets can be a legal minefield.
If you are cohabiting, or thinking of doing so, you may wish to consider a cohabitation agreement to protect your interests in the unfortunate event of the relationship breaking down in the years to come. You can also set down agreements as to who contributes what to living expenses and the like.
We will help you to plan for the future distribution of property and assets held prior to the start of the relationship, as well as advising on wills and inheritance matters. Where there are children involved, we can advise on putting property in trust and making appropriate financial provision.
A well-constructed cohabitation agreement drafted by one of our Family lawyers allows couples a degree of self-regulation in their financial affairs and can be viewed as a form of insurance against costly litigation.
Phone us on 01843 234010 or email us to discuss any questions that you may have about cohabitation agreements.
If you would like general information about cohabitation see our cohabitation factsheet.