Living Together Agreement (Cohabitation Agreement)
Contrary to popular belief, couples who live together but who do not marry do not acquire the same rights as married individuals even though the relationship lasts for many years and they may have children together. Similarly, if one dies they often wrongly assume their partner will receive everything.
With the increase in couples choosing to live together (cohabit), the legal and financial issues they face with children, property, pensions, separation and death become ever more important to understand and address. It may be a long term relationship and in many respects similar to that of marriage, but the law treats unmarried couples very differently from those who are married or in civil partnerships. You should not assume the law will look after you or your interests.
Whilst it may not be romantic to think about what might happen if you split up, couples should seriously think at the outset about how they can protect themselves if the relationship does break down or one of them should die, particularly if they are jointly purchasing a property and are considering having children together.
If you are thinking of living together, or are already living together, and going to jointly own property and have children, then you really do need a Living Together Agreement (Co-habitation Agreement) and advice on making a Will. The surviving partner is not the next of kin and without a Will, may not in fact be able to stay in the house, look after the children, continue to receive the deceased's pension, or receive any benefits from the deceased partner’s estate. It can all turn into a horrible mess for the one left behind.
However, it is important when entering into any agreement that you and your partner enter freely and voluntarily, that both of you have the benefit of independent legal advice and that full disclosure has been made of all relevant financial and other circumstances.
More from the Downs Blog
Last Monday was National Divorce Day - so called because it is the first Monday “back to normal” after Christmas, the bills start landing on the doormat and frayed couples have spent too long in close proximity. However, as the numbers of separations are largely on the decline, it seems there is a rise in the “silver splitter” - and if you’re one of them, you might find you’re in for a financial windfall.
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Monday 6 January was dubbed “Divorce Day” by those in the legal profession, as it is the day forecast to be the most likely that couples will start proceedings to separate. However, this year, Divorce Day saw something of a reunification, as the Government re-convened over introducing a “no-fault” divorce.
With Christmas behind us for another year, the prospect of long dark days of January can take their toll on the best of us. Plus, as the Christmas credit card bills start landing on the doormat, it’s hardly surprising to see why this time of year is also known as Divorce Season.
One of the busiest times of the year for a family lawyer is January. There are more new divorce clients than at any other time of the year. This is often attributed to the pressure of the family being together at Christmas. Yule being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Christmas and the lead up to it should be an exciting and memorable time for children and rewarding for their parents. Christmas is a busy and sometimes stressful period, getting everything prepared for the big day. For parents who have separated, this stress is magnified significantly as they try to organise themselves, their own families and agreeing what’s best for the children.
Regular followers of Downs’ news will know that we have closely been following the law surrounding no-fault divorce. In an update published today the legislation will start to be introduced.
In my line of work, I tend to see the statistic of one in three marriages ending in divorce in real life. Whilst many will say signing a pre-nup is one of many things they wish they knew before they get married quite often, separated parties will ask me things they need to know before they get divorced.
According to recent figures, men are more likely to get married after hitting the age of 80 than they were under the age of 20. As more of us consider marrying later in life, you might just want to make sure you check a few things before you do, including the security of children and inheritance rights.
If you were keeping an eye on our legal updates during Christmas, you may have noticed we stuck to a slightly less festive topic. Divorce season is well and truly upon us and with a forecast spike in the number of separations, have we simply made divorcing a spouse far too easy?
Whilst the fun and festivities are over for another year, a number of people can find the effects of debt and stress finally take their toll. It is one of many reasons why this time of year is known as Divorce Season. However, there could be a solution to marriage breakdown and over the years I have certainly seen some of the simplest remedies become the most effective.
In 2017 there were 3.3 million cohabiting couples who were neither married or in civil partnerships. This for the last 20 years has been the fastest growing group of couples. A significant proportion of this group are in single ownership or tenanted properties. This is a concern when considering the limited rights that cohabiting couples have versus married couples.
Tis the season to be jolly, but, we address a slightly more morose topic for a reason. Divorce Day will soon be upon us once again. It is the first working Monday of every year and gets its name due to a surge in divorce applications.
It may seem a strange sentiment, but this time of year actually sees the highest number of divorces than any other time of the year. Dubbed “divorce day” by many of us in the legal profession, January 7 2019 is the first working Monday after Christmas. It is also predicted to be the day we see a predicted spike in the number of divorces – but maybe there is something we can do about that.
We are probably all guilty of it, but, seeing as it is divorce season, perhaps now is the best time to be thinking about some of the things we do that cause unnecessary bitterness.
The most popular day to start divorce proceedings is in early January. Whether it is the pressure of the cost of Christmas, or working longer hours in the lead up to the festivities, the first working Monday of the new year is commonly referred to by many lawyers as “Divorce Day.”
Whilst the fun and festivities come around, a number of people can find the effects of debt and stress finally take their toll. It is one of many reasons why this time of year, we often term as Divorce Season. However, there could be a solution to marriage breakdown and over the years I have certainly seen some of the simplest remedies become the most effective.
This week is Good Divorce Week, aptly named as a way of raising awareness of the wider impact a separation can bring, particularly for children. Whilst divorce is always difficult, a number of studies have revealed the long-term serious impact on children, specifically around the conflict a divorce brings. Good Divorce Week aims to address the issues affecting children and how separating couples can mitigate any complications by providing practical help and support.
Following on from our recent blog calling for a review of divorce law, more plans have now been revealed to address some of the outdated areas of the law.