12th February 2024|In Latest News, Cohabitation

Cohabitation Rights & Agreements – Part 3 of 3 – Your Questions Answered

Welcome to the final part of our blog series, in which we have explored the complexities, myths and challenges of living together outside marriage or civil partnership. Remember, this is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional legal advice. To speak to our team of specialist family law experts, call 0333 344 6302 or email at info@blanchardslaw.co.uk.

This final article will share the most frequently asked questions we receive about cohabitation rights and agreements. For further information on the subject, be sure to check out parts 1 and 2 of this blog series.

 

Have we missed the chance for a cohabitation agreement now that we already live together?

It’s never too late to establish a cohabitation agreement, regardless of whether you’ve just moved in or been together for many years.

 

What if I want to remove the Right of Survivorship after buying property jointly as Joint Tenants?

You can change your joint ownership to a Tenancy in Common by executing a “Severance of Joint Tenancy.” We can prepare this document, which requires only one signature and can be sent to the other party by recorded delivery. A tracked delivery should suffice in court to validate the severance.

 

How does having children impact our cohabitation situation?

Children bring certain protections under the law, allowing courts to provide financial support from one parent to another, especially concerning housing, separate from child maintenance. This might include capital for housing through a lump sum or property orders, ensuring the primary caregiver can maintain a stable environment for the children. Remember, these arrangements are typically temporary until the children reach 21, except in cases of disability, where support may extend or become permanent.

 

Is a lawyer necessary for drafting a cohabitation agreement?

While not mandatory, it’s wise to seek legal advice given the agreement’s long-term implications.

 

How can I ensure my partner doesn’t gain a beneficial interest in my property?

We recommend creating a cohabitation agreement stating the non-owning party won’t gain beneficial interest. We also suggest you avoid allowing them to contribute to the mortgage. Instead, contributions should be limited to everyday expenses.

 

My partner now says the property is ours despite the agreement originally stating it belonged exclusively to him. How do I establish beneficial interest without written proof?

Changing intentions can potentially lead to a beneficial interest claim, but proving this without concrete evidence is challenging. Ideally the agreement should be updated, or at the very least you need to capture some form of written evidence of this change in intent.

 

What happens to our shared assets if I die?

Shared assets typically pass to the surviving partner through the right of survivorship. If you have a joint account, for example, your partner will automatically inherit no matter what it says in the cohabitation agreement or will.

With pensions, however, that’s not necessarily the case. You would need the person who is the member of the pension to nominate the other party, or otherwise it could go to the next of kin.

In short, it all depends on the specific asset.

 

For detailed advice and support tailored to your circumstances, contact our family law experts at 0333 344 6302 or info@blanchardslaw.co.uk.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.