Increasing numbers of unmarried couples are signing cohabitation agreements in order to ring-fence their wealth and protect what is rightfully theirs should they terminate their relationship.
According to the Daily Mail, the number of couples signing these agreements has almost doubled in the past 5 years. These agreements have been dubbed ‘no-nups’ as these couples are not married and therefore do not fit the criteria for prenuptial agreements.
Cohabitation agreements are written documents specifically designed to ensure that assets brought into a relationship remain under the control of the original owner in the event that the relationship breaks down. The agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it dictates what would happen to the property that the couple are cohabiting in, joint outgoings and inheritance if the couple parted ways.
Cohabitation agreements can be drawn up by a solicitor and set out who is responsible for loans, what would happen if one partner dies and whether one partner would be able to buy the other one out of their share of the property .
Currently, the law does not allow a couple to prevent each other from asking the courts to decide how their property should be shared. Whether a cohabitation agreement holds any legal credibility in court depends on several things: Is the mortgage shared? Who’s name is on the mortgage? Do the couple have children?
Naturally, since the recession, individuals have become increasingly more protective over their wealth, meaning cohabitation agreements are an attractive option for couples that are sharing a home but are not wed.
If you have any questions on this matter or are seeking advice on cohabitation agreements, please contact our Family Law expert:
Nicholas Clough: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or telephone: 0161 330 6821