Cohabitation Agreements

Many couples do not get married and believe that by not doing so they avoid legal responsibilities. This is not the case. Under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 the law gives a dependent cohabitant the right to claim financial support (known as redress scheme) at the end of a relationship if there has been cohabitation for two years and the couple have a child together or cohabitation for five years if they do not have children together.

The Act also allows and encourages non marital couples to write their own agreement as to what should happen if the relationship ends by death or otherwise and such agreements can specifically opt of the redress scheme if that is what they both agree with the benefit of independent legal advice.

Cohabitant’s agreements are often used by older couples (divorced or widowed) living with a new partner who do not wish to marry and who wish to ensure their estate goes primarily to their children or other family.