Co-habitation has become increasingly popular as the modern way of living and it is estimated that by 2031 there will be 3.8 million co-habiting couples in the UK who choose not to tie the knot.
Given the numbers it is surprising to learn that there is, however, still no single law that covers the legal rights of co-habiting couples and the issues on relationship break-down can be complex and devastating, not least for any child of the couple.
The issue of division of assets on separation is likely to be the least romantic conversation a couple can have, but definitely one of the most important.
The family home is often the biggest financial commitment for most couples and it is vitally important that the rights of each party in terms of how ownership is to be shared, or who gets to live in the property, are clearly understood.
A correctly drafted Co-habitation Agreement or Living Together Agreement can set out how the couple wish their financial matters to be dealt with on separation and also how any children should be provided for. The Agreement can even specify who gets the family pet!
The Agreement should give the couple the reassurance that should the worst happen, the court will give due consideration to their wishes. There are various pitfalls however in drafting such an agreement without proper legal advice and having a solicitor draft this document will be money well spent.
10 October 2022