Cohabitation and the value of Cohabitation Agreements

Entering into a Cohabitation Agreement can make specific financial provision and be of great value.

It remains a widely held belief that unmarried cohabitees acquire rights in respect of their partner’s property and other assets or income as “Common Law” spouses. However, despite long standing proposals for reform such have not been implemented, and the way the law presently stands means that cohabitees do not automatically acquire these rights.

When relationships fail there are few remedies available applying to only a limited number of former cohabitees.  This is regardless of the length of the relationship and can result in real hardship for former cohabitees whom have been financially reliant upon their former partner or who are not financially independent. This may seem completely out of step with modern relationships and unfair but in many cases there is nothing that can be done about it.

Many relationships breakdown, but whilst most married persons can apply for financial provision subsequent to that breakdown, most cohabitees canno. It is therefore important for cohabitees to think about the consequences of potential breakdown of the relationship. This is where entering into a Cohabitation Agreement, which can make specific financial provision, can be of great value.

Contact Howell-Jones’ Family Law Team for further information on Cohabitation Agreements, family law generally and a free initial discussion to discuss how they might help you.