Cohabiting couples often think that they are 'common law' spouses with shared rights over property and money. The fact is that you need a cohabitation agreement and perhaps a declaration of trust to protect you both if you split up.
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What are my rights when I'm cohabiting?
There's a quite dangerous myth many cohabiting couples still believe that after a few years you become 'common law' spouses with the same rights as married couples.
Even if you have joint ownership of a property and similar incomes, things could become very complex and difficult in the event of a split. That's why our experienced family lawyers generally recommend that cohabiting couples enter into a cohabitation agreement as early as possible in their relationship.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
A sets out what you both intend to do regarding your property and money in the event that you should ever split up. For example, one of you might own the property and have a tidy sum in a pension fund, while the other doesn't.
If you should split up in later life, that could leave one of you in a very insecure position, even if you have spent 20 years contributing to household expenses and other costs. Similarly, if you own your own home, you might want to make absolutel sure that it's protected if your relationship ends after just a few years.
Therefore, if you don't want to get married, but you do want your relationship to be on a firm and fair footing, why not ask one of our friendly family lawyers to explain the benefits of a cohabitation agreement?
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