Cohabitation Solicitors

Cohabitation Solicitors

Contrary to popular belief, ‘common law marriage’ is not a legally recognised status in the United Kingdom. This means that unmarried couples who are cohabitating have extremely limited legal protections and rights when it comes to shared assets and their home, especially if their relationship should come to an end.

Cohabitation agreements are an effective means of providing protection for both couples, clearly defining who will receive what in the event of a separation. Resolving financial and property issues without a cohabitation agreement can be complex, costly and contentious. Having a carefully drafted cohabitation agreement can avoid such circumstances arising and provide peace of mind. Our cohabitation agreement solicitors are available to assist you in creating a fair and practical cohabitation agreement tailored to your circumstances.

These agreements are sometimes referred to as ‘living together agreements’ and are used to clarify the usual living expenses and how they will be paid as well as state how a couple’s assets would be divided if they were to separate, providing clarity and security for both people.

Understandably, there is often a stigma that suggests this means the two individuals are viewing their relationship in bad faith. However, in reality, it is a practical and effective method of securing both individual’s finances for the future, whilst mitigating any potential areas of conflict.

At Watkins, our friendly cohabitation solicitors provide practical and effective legal advice that is tailored to your specific circumstances.

Contact our cohabitation agreement solicitors in Bristol, Bath, Hereford and Evesham

For tailored advice and support related to cohabitation agreements you can contact our expert cohabitation agreement solicitors Nicola Harvey and Catherine Turner on 0117 939 0350 or email info@watkinssolicitors.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can use our contact form to request a call back, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Our cohabitation agreement services

Our cohabitation services include:

  • Legal advice for unmarried couples that live together
  • Creating cohabitation agreements
  • The application of cohabitation agreements during separation
  • Resolving cohabitation disputes

Our cohabitation agreements services

Legal advice for unmarried couples that live together

Unfortunately, many unmarried cohabitating couples are unaware that they don’t have any legal rights compared to married couples. For this reason, it is essential that couples who wish to remain unmarried and continue living together consult an experienced solicitor .

Doing so will ensure that they are well informed of alternative methods to protect their rights and finances, which also includes any declaration of trusts.

Should you and your partner decide to purchase a house together whilst being unmarried, it is vital that you speak to an experienced cohabitation solicitor, particularly where one individual is relying on the other party financially.

Our cohabitation lawyers can provide practical and clear advice no matter what your situation is. We make a point of never upselling to our clients, we simply give them a quality service that suits their requirements. You will find our staff to be friendly and empathetic no matter what issue you are facing, whilst having the expertise required to resolve your problem quickly and efficiently.

Creating cohabitation agreements

Should you decide to create a cohabitation agreement between you and your partner, it is essential that it is written by or with the assistance of an experienced cohabitation agreement solicitor. Your solicitor will be able to make sure everything is in order before asking you and your partner to sign it.

Such agreements are used to establish arrangements for property, finances, and children, covering how these matters will be arranged whilst you are living together, as well as what will happen if you separate.

Your solicitor will ensure that the terms of the agreement provide the exact protection you require, and that the agreement is worded perfectly, so that it cannot be successfully disputed in the future.

At Watkins, our cohabitation solicitors understand that creating a cohabitation agreement with your partner can feel sometimes uncomfortable, so we always approach these processes with sensitivity and do everything in our power to make the process as relaxed and stress free as possible.

We will ensure that your cohabitation agreement is robust and meets every legal requirement possible, whilst protecting both of your rights and assets.

Applying cohabitation agreements during separation

Should you and your partner choose to separate, having a cohabitation agreement in place can significantly reduce the stress. With an agreement in place, clearly outlining how all of your assets should be handled, the process will be far more straight forward. It is important to note however, that it is always worth consulting with a solicitor during the separation process to make sure that the agreement is being followed and that it is up to date.

If your situation has altered drastically since the agreement has been made, it may be the case that the agreement no longer reflects exactly how you both wish your assets to be treated. When this is the case, it is possible to negotiate an alternative division of finances with your ex-spouse.

Where this is not possible, you also potentially have the option of taking your case to court. We would recommend this to be a last resort as court fees can quickly become expensive, as well as being time consuming and emotionally draining.

Our cohabitation solicitors will advise you on how the cohabitation agreement applies to your current circumstances and work on your behalf to secure the best outcome.

Cohabitation disputes

Should a dispute arise between a cohabitating couple, it is not always easy to know where you stand legally. This is why it is important to get expert advice at the earliest available point, this can help you to minimise conflict and reduce costs in the long run.

Our solicitors are well versed in multiple methods of alternative dispute resolution, meaning that we are excellent at resolving matters efficiently and cheaply, avoiding court proceedings where possible. However, if litigation appears unavoidable, we can provide excellent representation in court.

Frequently asked questions

What is a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that clearly outlines and defines what should happen to an unmarried couple’s joint assets and finances should they decide to split up. It is an increasingly popular method that many unmarried couples who live together are choosing to take due to the lack of legal protection they are provided with by being unmarried.

Why would I need a cohabitation agreement?

Unfortunately, at present, couples who live together but remain unmarried are not afforded the same legal protections and rights as married couples. This is especially the case if they choose to separate.

Cohabitation agreements can help couples to establish arrangements for property, finances, and children, outlining how these matters will be arranged whilst the couple are cohabitating, and how responsibilities and asset ownership will work should they choose to separate.

When well written, and drafted with the support of a solicitor, cohabitation agreements are often taken into consideration should a cohabitation dispute end up in court.

What does a cohabitation agreement cover?

A properly drafted cohabitation agreement will cover all of the assets that you and your cohabitee jointly own as well as how you would both like them to be treated in the event of a separation.

This document should accurately reflect both of your mutually agreed wishes at the time of creation. Should your situation change, the agreement can be updated with the assistance of an experienced cohabitation agreement solicitor, or this can later be taken into account during court proceedings, should it be required.

Can a cohabitation agreement be enforced in court?

Whilst at present there is no formal legislation that makes cohabitation agreements enforceable in court, many courts have begun taking them into account during proceedings, as long as the document is well written and legitimate. Our solicitors are experts in this field and will create a cohabitation agreement with the highest chance of being upheld in court.

What our clients say about us

“I write to express my extreme gratitude and thanks for all the help you have given me and continue to give. I had fear and anxiety but your professionalism and kindness from you and your whole team has given me some confidence. Once more I am thanking you from the bottom of my heart.”

Contact our cohabitation agreement solicitors in Bristol, Bath, Hereford and Evesham

For tailored advice and support related to cohabitation agreements you can contact our expert cohabitation agreement solicitors Nicola Harvey and Catherine Turner on 0117 939 0350 or email info@watkinssolicitors.co.uk.

Alternatively, can also use our contact form to request a call back, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.