Cohabitation & Living Together Agreements
If you and your partner live together but are unmarried, you do not necessarily have the same legal rights as a married couple. Even if you are in a long-term relationship and have lived together for an extensive period of time, you are generally not legally protected.
A cohabitation agreement is the formal agreement which can protect you and your partner’s assets, should you decide to end the relationship.
Legal differences between living together and marriage
Some of the legal differences between cohabitation and marriage include:
- Cohabitation is not usually seen as a formal contract, unlike marriage. You can live with someone at any time and similarly leave at any time. With marriage, you must enter a formal contract and end with a legal divorce.
- Partners living together normally have no right to spousal maintenance, unlike married couples.
- You generally do not have to divide your income, property and assets with a cohabitating partner, nor do they need to split theirs with you. Married couples do.
- If one cohabitating partner dies, their assets are normally distributed to their estate. With marriage, the assets are often given to the widowed partner.
These are just a few of the examples of how living together can affect your legal rights. However, with a cohabitation agreement, you can establish who will keep specific assets if the relationship breaks down.
Obtaining a cohabitation agreement
If you want to create a formal, legally-binding living together agreement, you should contact a family law solicitor.
Here at Major Family Law, we can form a legal contract, which can be upheld in court, should you break up with your cohabitating partner. Our team can also give you expert advice and guidance while helping you protect your rightful assets.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation, or click the link below for more information on cohabitation agreements.