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Cohabitation Agreements Solicitors

Protecting your interests and giving you certainty for the future

Unmarried couples do not have the same rights as married couples. A cohabitation agreement can address this, setting out how issues such as finances, property and children will be dealt with, both while you are together and should you separate.

A cohabitation agreement gives you an open and honest start to your relationship and can help you avoid disputes over the course of time. At Bell Lamb & Joynson, we have wide experience in cohabitation law and drawing up cohabitation agreements that will make life easier and fairer for you and your partner, should you split up. We will work to protect your interests and ensure that you will have the financial and other resources you need going forward.

We offer advice, guidance and representation in respect of all aspects of cohabitation agreements, including the following:

  • Discussing your situation and advising you on the available options for a cohabitation agreement
  • Advising you in respect of a cohabitation agreement drawn up by your partner’s solicitors
  • Drawing up and advising on a cohabitation agreement for individuals who are not romantically linked, for example, family members or friends who will be living together

Our fees are always clear, and we offer fixed fee packages and payment plans to ensure that our services are accessible.

Get in touch with our cohabitation agreement lawyers in Liverpool, Runcorn and Warrington

For an informal chat about how we can help you, contact us in one of the following ways:

Call 03444 124348 | Ask us a Question

We’re happy to talk to you over the phone, email or via WhatsApp, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and Microsoft Teams.

Or, if you would prefer, please feel free to pop into one of our offices in Liverpool, Runcorn or Warrington, where we will be happy to assist you further.

For information about our other related services, please see our Family Law Solicitors page.

How our cohabitation agreements solicitors can help you

Taking your instructions and drafting a cohabitation agreement

Our advice to you will be bespoke and tailored to your individual circumstances. We will take into account your current financial situation and what you would like to see happen in the future.

Our cohabitation solicitors have extensive experience in drawing up cohabitation agreements to suit every situation and will be able to suggest the right solutions for you and your partner. Our services include:

  • Going through your options with you and suggesting terms for your cohabitation agreement
  • Drafting a cohabitation agreement
  • Advising on the implications of signing a cohabitation agreement

Cohabitation agreement advice

We also provide advice in respect of cohabitation agreements prepared elsewhere. It is important to take independent legal advice before signing a cohabitation agreement, and we can go through an agreement that you intend to sign to ensure that it is in your best interests to do so and that the main eventualities are covered.

Cohabitation agreements for those who are living together but who are not couples

As well as providing advice for unmarried couples, we also draw up agreements for other individuals who plan to live together. This could be friends who decide to buy or rent a home together or family members such as siblings. A cohabitation agreement will clearly set out what you intend to happen in the future, for example, if one of you wishes to sell a jointly owned property.

Answering your questions about cohabitation agreements

What is a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a contract made between individuals who are living together or who plan to live together, setting out what will happen to their shared finances, assets, and children should their relationship end.

The agreement can be drawn up either before you move in together or later on. Sometimes couples who have been together for some time decide to have an agreement drawn up when their circumstances change, for example, when they buy a property or have children.

Provided an agreement has been properly drafted and executed, it will constitute a legally binding contract. It is important that both parties fully disclose their financial position to each other before entering into the agreement and that they each have independent legal advice before signing if they wish to rely on the contract in the future.

There are a number of advantages in putting a cohabitation agreement in place, including the following:

  • The requirement for you each to fully disclose your financial situation to each other means that you will start your relationship on an open and honest basis. It gives you the opportunity to discuss what could later become contentious at this early stage and decide what would be fair to both of you if you were to separate in the future.
  • It allows you to protect your assets. For example, if you use inherited money or money gifted by parents to buy a shared home, you can ensure that this is not lost.
  • You can protect your position should you be in a financially weaker position, for example, if you give up your career to raise children.
  • You can ensure adequate financial provision is agreed for the care of your children.
  • By setting out clearly what you intend to happen, you can avoid disputes and misunderstandings in the future. Should you separate, a cohabitation agreement generally makes a difficult situation easier than it might otherwise have been and can help you avoid lengthy and expensive legal action.

What rights do unmarried partners have if they separate without a cohabitation agreement?

Although people sometimes believe there are rights of common law marriage for those who live together, the fact is that common law marriage does not exist anymore. If you want to have cohabitation rights, you will need a cohabitation agreement in place.

Without a cohabitation agreement, a couple will only have rights over assets that are in their own name. Where they jointly own a property, disputes can arise over issues such as selling it or who should be responsible for mortgage payments and bills.

Where one party is in a financially weaker position, for example, through giving up their career to care for children, they will not have any protection, unlike a married person, as there is no legal responsibility to provide financial support to someone outside of a marriage or civil partnership.

What should you include in a cohabitation agreement?

You can include whatever issues you want in a cohabitation agreement, and our cohabitation solicitors will make sure that an agreement is drafted to suit your particular requirements. We will discuss your situation with you and suggest options that you may want to consider including.

Common points that are frequently covered include the following:

  • What will happen in respect of ownership of shared property
  • What will happen in respect of ownership of any other properties, including properties owned previously
  • Who will pay the mortgage or rent
  • How savings and investments will be split, including pensions
  • What will happen to items of value such as cars, furniture and collectables
  • How bills will be split
  • How debt will be shared
  • What financial provision will be made for children
  • Who will have pets

Is a cohabitation agreement different to a living together agreement?

A living together agreement is simply a different term for a cohabitation agreement. You may also hear it referred to as a ‘no-nup’ in reference to the pre-nuptial agreement that couples sign before a marriage.

We will draft your cohabitation agreement to suit your particular requirements, whether you are a couple who are going to move in together, a couple who already live together or friends or relatives who want to put your cohabitation on a legal footing.

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

Please ask us a question, and we will be happy to advise.

Get in touch with our cohabitation agreement lawyers in Liverpool, Runcorn and Warrington

For an informal chat about how we can help you, contact us in one of the following ways:

Call 03444 124348 | Ask us a Question

We’re happy to talk to you over the phone, email or via WhatsApp, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and Microsoft Teams.

Or, if you would prefer, please feel free to pop into one of our offices in Liverpool, Runcorn or Warrington, where we will be happy to assist you further.