As the marriage rate in England and Wales continues to decline, the number of unmarried, but cohabiting couples continues to rise. Despite the popular perception that living together generates rights for cohabiting couples, at present there is no law in place tailored to the needs of a cohabiting couple – and any children they may have together – if their relationship breaks down. In the event of a property dispute, trust and land law is applied.
Spectrum Family Law, are often called upon to provide expert advice to their clients on how to resolve disputes and perhaps more importantly protect the couples from disputes arising.
If you do not wish to marry your partner, or cannot do so, you should take steps to ensure that your partner and any children will be provided for, should anything unexpected happen.
Decide how property and assets should be owned. Consult a solicitor at Spectrum Family Law, to ensure that a cohabitation agreement is correctly drafted and given full legal effect.
For example, if you are about to purchase a property with a new partner, it is essential that before the purchase takes place, ownership of that property is agreed and reflected in an appropriate declaration of trust. As former cohabitees have discovered to their cost, raising arguments about what may or may not have been agreed years before is unlikely to sway the court without the clearest evidence in support.
Whenever we assist our clients with cohabitation agreements at Spectrum Family Law, we also make additional recommendations to safeguard our clients' assets and intentions. For example, we recommend that every cohabiting client makes a will and insures his or her life. The latter is especially important if you are a financial provider, with dependents or other financial obligations.
Our advice is to be proactive and consult Spectrum Family Law if you are cohabiting.
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