If you are unmarried and living together a cohabitation agreement can assist in setting out your financial rights and responsibilities.
This could include clarity over ownership of the property, responsibilities for financial payments during the relationship, protection from claims against other assets or properties.
In today’s evolving world of relationships, more couples choose to form live-in partnerships before committing to a formal marriage union.
This is the perfect opportunity for couples to understand their routine around each others schedules and daily expectations.
However most couples would benefit if this introductory cohabitation is formalised as if it were a “pre-pre-nuptial” agreement so as to avoid the conflicts around who is responsible for what during the “getting to know you” phase. This cements an open trust agreement that each person will remain responsible for their contribution to the partnership. This agreement will be subject to change if circumstances surrounding the couple change too.
It is understandable that bringing up the subject of a Cohabitation Agreement can be very uncomfortable for both you and your partner, but in a positive way it can:
- Help to improve communication and build up trust.
- Help you to understand each other better.
- Share your hopes, expectations and dreams.
- Give a clear definition of individual shares in property and finances
- Reduce any individual fears or concerns about what would happen if “something goes wrong” with the relationship.
- Give protection against inheriting your partners pre-marriage debts
- Protect gifts, inheritances and property in the event of a death or divorce.
- Ensure any children born from this relationship are adequately cared for.
- Avoid unnecessary hostility, bitterness, anxiety, anger and frustration in the event of a separation.
- Greatly reduce the cost and time involved in dealing with finances, children and property if the relationship does break down.