Why is a Cohabitation Agreement Essential for Non-Married Couples?

A study conducted earlier this year found that cohabiting couples/families are the fastest growing type in the UK. However, there are still many misconceptions about the living arrangement.

According to the Office of National Statistics cohabiting couple families grew by 29.7% between 2004 and 2014 making it the fastest growing type of family in the UK. The report found that there were three million opposite sex cohabiting couple families and 84,000 same sex cohabiting couple families in the UK in 2014 accounting for 16.4% of all families in the UK in total. It is estimated that there are 150,000 cohabiting relationships in Scotland.

Do I Need a Cohabitation Agreement?

Although cohabitation is becoming increasingly popular with families, according to numerous studies many people that are in such relationships assume they have the same rights or believe they have a “common law marriage”.

However, with the increase in the number of cohabitation relationships, the rise has led to a sharp rise in the number of legal battles and costs when the relationship breakdown. Many people have spoken out or condemned a cohabitation agreement by stating that creating such a document means the relationship is doomed, however, as unthinkable as a cohabitation agreement may seem when you first move in, such arrangements can be exceptionally effective to start the new stage of your life together while protecting your assets.

Couples living together in Scotland have certain rights. Couples who live together have the ability to make a financial claim in the event of either separation or death. However, such relationships do not have the same rights as a married couple. If you are already cohabiting or are thinking of buying a home with someone or moving in together a cohabitation agreement can provide further support to your relationship and allow you to focus on the present rather than worry about the future.

Cohabitation Agreements: Some Key Points

Cohabitation agreements are a fine way to ensure that your rights are upheld, and assets are protected. When creating such an agreement, there are a few key points that you must keep in mind. A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding document and allows both parties to arrange their financial arrangements. Clarification of property ownership can also be arranged in a cohabitation agreement as well as how assets would be divided if the relationship did break down.

As well as creating a cohabitation agreement there are a number of other steps that couples can take to ensure their loved ones are left with something when they are gone. If you are cohabiting it is not always the case that your inheritance or estate will be passed down to your loved one. Therefore, we strongly urge you to create a will and ensure that your assets are passed down to your partner.

Contact Us

We specialise in all types of family law from divorce to cohabitation agreements. If you require the advice of our family law experts regarding the creation of a cohabitation agreement or for any other family law matter contact us today using our online contact form.