Cohabitation FAQ's

Clough & Willis Divorce Solicitors have many years experience in cohabitation agreements, pre-nuptials and civil partnerships. Below are some of the most common or frequently asked questions that our solicitors may receive in relation to cohabitation.

My partner and I are separating and we are not married. Can I make a claim on the house?

If the property is not in joint names then to establish a share in a property can be very difficult. A financial contribution to the property or a common intention to share the property can establish an interest. Simple payments to the mortgage or utility bills are not necessarily sufficient to establish a share. However once an interest has been established the Court can then adjust the extent of that share to what is deemed to be fair in the circumstances. However this area of law is very complex and we recommend that you consult one of specialist Family Solicitors for further advice as the Court can assume an intention from the whole course of dealings.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

Couples who choose not to marry may wish to agree upon a framework to regulate their legal and financial obligations to each other, this is known as a Cohabitation Agreement. It gives individuals the ability to clearly set out their intentions for the future in a legal document. Cohabitation Agreements should also be accompanied by a Will and possibly a Deed of Trust reflecting the property shares. We recommend that you consult our specialist Family Solicitors for further advice.

What is a Pre-nuptial/Civil Partnership Agreement?

These type of agreement is entered into by two individuals prior to a marriage / civil partnership. Its aim is to set out clearly the ways in which prospective spouses / civil partners will hold their assets during the marriage / civil partnership and their intentions should they later dissolve that relationship.

These agreements are not currently binding in the Courts in England and Wales but that said are understandably becoming increasingly popular. They are now one of the material factors taken into account by the Court when deciding the division of the assets upon Divorce / Dissolution of the relationship. In the case of a short marriage/ civil partnership, if the Court considers the agreement to be relevant, fair and signed freely by both parties in good time before the ceremony therefore allowing at least the ability to take legal advice and with full disclosure of the assets it can often be one of the most important factors for the Court to consider.

 

If you are considering one of these agreement do not hesitate to contact our specialist family law department for further advice as they should be comprehensive and do have a diminishing life span