Cohabitation Agreements

We regularly draft and advise clients on cohabitation agreements. 

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about cohabitation agreements.

What is a cohabitation agreement?

It is a binding contract between you and your partner that sets out:-

  • How you intend to manage your finances while you live together
  • What should happen in the event that your relationship breaks down

Why do people enter into them?

People enter into cohabitation agreements for a variety of reasons.  For example, the agreement can regulate interests in property, bank accounts or the payment of household bills.  Some use them to prevent future claims against properties under Property and Trusts law.  Others want to agree financial provision (such as maintenance or a lump sum) for one partner in the event they separate.  Our clients are usually wealthy and want to discuss financial issues openly early on in order to minimise the likelihood of disputes in the future.

Are they legally binding?

Yes, provided they are done properly.  The agreement will be signed as a deed and be contractually binding.  You should therefore take legal advice and think carefully before entering into one.

How much does it cost?

The cost will vary depending on how much negotiation there is over the terms of the agreement and whether the negotiation involves solicitors.  If you and your partner are able to agree the terms between you, then the costs will be significantly lower.

Can you act for both me and my partner?

No.  We can only act for you.  Our duty is to advise you what is in your best interests.  If we were to act for your partner as well this would create a conflict of interests.

It is likely we will get married in the future, what happens then?

This is something you should consider when drafting the cohabitation agreement.  You can explicitly agree that the terms of the cohabitation agreement survive marriage, or that they terminate on marriage.  Sometimes couples consider the terms of the prenuptial agreement [LINK] at the same time as a cohabitation agreement.  We can advise you on both.  The aim is to ensure that financial issues are discussed openly early on to minimise the chance of disputes in the future.

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If you require further information or advice from our team of specialist family lawyers, please contact a member of our team or call us on +44 (0)20 7814 1200.

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Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

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Legal 500 UK

"Professional yet sympathetic manner and the team always fights hard to defend your interests"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

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