Bishop & Sewell

Many couples cohabit without getting married or forming a civil partnership but when setting up home together it is important to consider what financial contributions you each intend to make, and what may happen if your relationship ends or one of you dies.

The law is complex and unmarried partners have no legal status; contrary to popular belief, there is no ‘common law’ or other legal status governing those who live together but do not marry or enter into a civil partnership, and it does not matter how long you have been cohabiting.

Getting advice is essential, particularly if you are buying property together – or have other significant shared assets – and your financial contributions differ.  Please also see our page on Disputes between unmarried couples LINK

A cohabitation agreement can avoid lengthy and expensive litigation if the relationship does not last. It will set out how a home is to be held, what financial contributions are to be made during the relationship and how assets should be divided if the relationship comes to an end.

Our Family Law team can offer you advice tailored to your own specific circumstances whether this is before you start living together or should your relationship eventually break down.

  • Co-habitation agreements – Protecting unequal contributions
  • Funding the purchase of a property with the help of a gift or loan
  • Protecting unequal contributions to a property purchase

Contact our Family Team

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our team, please email or contact 020 7631 4141 and ask to speak to our Family team.

How our expert family lawyers can help

Prepare and negotiate the terms of a cohabitation agreement.

Help you decide whether any property you own with your partner should be held as joint tenants or as tenants-in-common (in specified shares).

Advise you about the position on legal and beneficial ownership.

Identify any claims there might be between you and your partner for maintenance and other financial provision for your children’s benefit.

Advise on the terms of a will and possible claims in the event of the death of one of you.

Cohabitation Agreements Solicitors