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Protect your rights with a cohabitation agreement

Whilst Royal Wedding fever sweeps the country it is important to remember that one in six couples in England and Wales choose to live together rather than being married or entering into a Civil Partnership and that figure is expected to rise to one in four in 2013.  Couples in this position should consider making a Cohabitation Agreement, warns Melissa Markham.

Whilst couples who are married or in a civil partnership have key rights protected by law there is very little automatic protection for couples who live together.

People still mistakenly believe they are someone’s common law husband or wife but this is just a phrase which describes people who live together and in reality they have few rights.

Therefore couples who are looking to protect themselves now and to provide certainty in regard to their future wishes should their relationship end due to death or otherwise, should consider a Cohabitation Agreement.  Such a document constitutes a written contract between a couple and will be used by the courts as evidence of the parties’ intentions when, for example, purchasing a property or other assets.  The Agreement should also cover how those assets should be dealt with on separation or on the death of one of the parties.  For couples buying property together I would certainly say this is an essential financial tool which can provide peace of mind.

For more information contact Melissa Markham, Philip Dimond or John Barrow in the family team at Gullands on 01622 678341.