Co-habitation Agreements

A co-habitation agreement or living together agreement sets out how a couple intend to deal with financial arrangements during their relationship and on separation, should your relationship break down.

Why do I need a co-habitation agreement?

Such agreements are beneficial, in that couples will have fewer disagreements during the relationship, as each party is clear from the outset about what is to happen. They can also help give peace of mind to a partner who has to care for the children or who is financially less well off. In the event of separation costly court applications can be avoided.

What can be included in the agreement?

  • Ownership of property – particularly where contributions are different
  • Amount to be contributed to rent, mortgage or bills
  • Who is to be responsible for liabilities
  • What financial contributions should be made by each party for
    the children
  • What should happen to the family home and jointly owned property on separation

Is a co-habitation agreement legally binding?

A cohabitation agreement is not binding on a court, although the courts will consider them as evidence of the intention of the parties. Much more weight will be placed on a co-habitation agreement in resolving disputes in the following circumstances:-

  • Both parties had separate independent legal advice
  • There was full financial disclosure by both parties
  • There was no undue influence or duress and both parties had been given time to reflect on the agreement before signing
  • The agreement was fair and fully understood by the parties
  • The agreement was reviewed periodically and where there was a significant change of circumstance, such as the birth of a child

If you would like further information or advice about co-habitation agreements please contact us by email enquires@alettashaw.co.uk or by telephone on 0208 301 4884