Cohabitation Agreements Lawyers in Manchester & Stockport
The family law specialists at Clifford Johnston & Co. can help couples who are either planning to live together or who are already doing so, without the formality of a marriage or civil partnership.
It is important that you and your partner are both financially and legally protected so that, should you ever decide to go your separate ways, your long-term security is guaranteed.
Our team of family law solicitors can help you to draw up a cohabitation agreement that sufficiently meets the needs of both of you, allowing you to effectively manage your assets, property and living arrangements.
For more information and advice on all matters relating to cohabitation agreements contact us today and talk to one of our friendly team.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is made between two people to clearly agree and detail the financial commitments and contributions to be made by each as part of their wider living arrangements. It is a legally binding document that can be as broad or as detailed as you like and our family law solicitors are able to advise on what you may wish to include, for example:
• How much each of you will contribute to household and living expenses.
• How any assets will be distributed should you ever decide to separate.
• Confirm ownership of particularly expensive or sentimental items such as jewellery, artwork or cars.
A cohabitation agreement is designed to protect the legal and financial interests of both you and your partner, to remove any uncertainty surrounding your finances now and in the future.
Do I need a cohabitation agreement?
In England and Wales, there is currently no automatic legal protection for cohabiting couples, which can leave individuals financially vulnerable in the event of a separation or the death of a partner.
If you are living or intending to live with your partner, a cohabitation agreement is a valuable way of documenting the monetary contributions to be made by each of you, to protect you from the injustice of not having your partnership legally recognised and to safeguard you financially should the relationship come to an end for any reason.
The terms included in your agreement will be set by you and your partner to best suit your individual circumstances but it is important that you take professional legal advice to ensure that you are fully protected.
Having a robust and effective cohabitation agreement in place now can help you to avoid expensive and lengthy litigation in the future by removing any uncertainty and worry about what could happen if you separate from your partner.
Who can enter into a cohabitation agreement?
Cohabitation agreements are usually entered into by couples who wish to live together but who have decided not to marry or enter into a civil partnership. They are also used by those who wish to pool financial resources to buy a property, usually as first time buyers. There are no hard and fast rules about how these partnerships can work and the property involved can be owned solely by one cohabitee or jointly by cohabitees in equal or non-equal shares for example. It is therefore essential that you take legal advice early in order to to iron out any potential issues.
• A Deed of Trust
Depending on your individual circumstances, we may also advise you to consider a deed of trust along with your cohabitation agreement.
Also known as a declaration of trust, this is a legal document designed to reflect and protect the individual shares each party has in a property, where these shares are unequal.
Most people buy houses jointly as what is know as joint tenants. Where this is the case the presumption is that ownership, and therefore the proceeds of sale, should be split equally. If the house is owned as joint tenants but the contributions were unequal, it can require expensive court proceedings to overcome this presumption of equality.
If you each pay unequal amounts into the property you may prefer to change the joint tenancy into what is known as tenants in common and having a deed of trust in place supporting this will ensure that each party gets the same level of investment back when you come to sell the property.
Agreeing to a deed of trust will help you to avoid any acrimony and further legal costs if you do go your separate ways in the future.
• Wills and Intestacy
We always ensure that our clients have a valid will in place when working on cohabitation agreements to guarantee that their money will be distributed according to their wishes and that any partners are fully protected by the law.
If you die without a valid will, the rules of intestacy will determine how your assets will be shared out and if you are not married or in a civil partnership then your partner will not automatically benefit.
We will help you to prepare and write your will alongside your cohabitation agreement to give you and your partner the peace of mind that you both deserve.
How Clifford Johnston & Co. can help
We are able to help you with your cohabitation agreement and other legal documentation whether you are already living together or are planning to do so in the future.
We have the experience and specialist skills that you should expect from your legal team when it comes to understanding your cohabitation rights and we are also able so swiftly resolve any disputes that may arise if you are in the position of separating without a cohabitation agreement in place.
We have experience helping couples with:
• Financial disputes relating to share of equity
• Financial provision for children
• Parental responsibility
We always try to resolve things without the need for court action and have an excellent track record of reaching amicable and satisfactory outcomes for both parties through mediation and negotiation and collaboration.
We understand just how important planning for your future is and will help you come to the important decisions with understanding and pragmatism.
At Clifford Johnston & Co. we are renowned for working to the highest of legal standards and pride ourselves on delivering a professional, affordable service to clients right across Stockport and Manchester.
For clear, confidential and expert advice about cohabitation agreements contact us today on 0161 975 1900 or use the online enquiry form above.
The Cohabitation Agreement Lawyers in Stockport (Heaton Moor) & Manchester (Burnage) are easily accessible. We represent clients on all family law matters not only locally and throughout Stockport, Cheshire, Lancashire & Manchester but also across the United Kingdom. You can count on us to help and guide you whatever your challenge or circumstance.