Noble Harbour Solicitors

Noble Harbour Solicitors

Living together (Co-habitation Issues)

A co-habitation agreement or living together agreement is an agreement entered into by a couple ideally prior to living together. Such agreements can set out terms agreed by the couple in the event their relationship should fail and the couple separate. However, the agreement need not be limited to this and can also cover issues regarding the day to day workings of living together.

Making the agreement can help you consider the full implications of living with someone - the practical issues that may arise and also what your and your partner's expectations of the arrangement are. On a practical level the agreement can assist you to organise the day to day finances. It helps you to consider what will be a fair when proportioning costs and expenses between you and in deciding how income can be shared. Such agreements can prevent areas of dispute arising in the future.

The fact that a living together agreement has been prepared does not mean that your relationship is any the less secure than if an agreement is not prepared. However, should the relationship fail in the future, such an agreement can help you do so in a way that is fair and amicable. This can help you avoid costly court disputes so allowing each of you to move on.

Living together agreements have been common place in many countries for a long time, but are a relatively new concept in England and Wales. Whilst it must be remembered that the courts in England and Wales retain a discretion to overturn agreements relating to family proceedings, recent court decisions have shown that the court is now having regard to living together agreements and taking into account terms set out in the same when deciding on financial distribution proceedings arising from the couples separation. Consequently, a living together agreement can provide protection to parties entering into these agreements.

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