At MyBump2Baby, we are proud to work with family law solicitors throughout the UK. Today we have a useful article from our friends at Ringrose, our family law solicitors in Sleaford on cohabiting during lockdown.
Cohabiting during Lockdown |Ringrose Law Solicitors Sleaford
Today one in six couples cohabit. Many couples assume that because they are not married there are no legal consequences of cohabiting. However, this is not always the case.
Legal Rights | Family Law Solicitor, Sleaford
Legal rights do arise as a consequence of cohabitation and the partner who is not the legal owner of a property may be able to establish a legal interest in certain circumstances including the length of the cohabitation, improvements to the property, the intention of the parties to name a few.
Before moving in the team at Ringrose Law would advise couples that communication is very much important. A frank and honest conversation before cohabiting can minimise misunderstandings further down the line as to the legal and financial situation. The team would also advise cohabiting couples to be clear at the very beginning what financial contributions to running the property will be made and if they are intended to provide a legal interest in the property.
It is possible for cohabitees to enter into a legally drawn up Cohabitation Agreement
A positive way forward however for anyone in an unmarried relationship or about to enter into one, would be to consider entering into a formal Cohabitation Agreement through solicitors. This provides both parties with the financial security they can both rely on during their relationship and in the event of a breakdown.
Cohabitation Agreements can be put together, prior to moving in with someone or whilst living with someone. They provide both parties cohabiting rights and ensure that in the event of a relationship breakdown both parties are protected. A local family law Solicitor can help you prepare an agreement so it is legally binding.
A Cohabitation Agreement can address:-
- Ownership of the property.
- How you pay your rent, mortgage or other household bills.
- Your finances such as what happens to any joint accounts or pensions.
- Division of household items in the event of separation even down to who gets the dog.
There is scope to add other clauses, but these must not become too trivial such as who does the household cleaning!
Relationship End – What about the Children?
If your relationship ends you also need to consider if there are children involved, who has Parental Responsibility and future care and contact. Often this can involve applying to the Court for a Contact Order.
Cohabiting during coronavirus for most couples may be a temporary stage until the lockdown is lifted. For those couples who choose to cohabit permanently, legal advice and an upfront conversation can potentially save some heartache and financial stress further down the line.
We can help
Contact the Ringrose Law family law team in Sleaford on 03333 580393 or email [email protected]
Hi, I’m Emma and I’m MyBump2aby’s family law, protection and financial editor. I’m passionate about better-informing parents on their choices when it comes to family law and family protection and financial matters.