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Co-habitation

Couples who chose to live together without getting married or entering into a civil partnership do not acquire the same rights as those enjoyed by married couples or civil partners.

There is no such thing as ‘common law marriage’.  Cohabiting couples have very few legal rights.

Our specialist Family law solicitors can help you with:

  • Drafting Cohabitation Agreements before or when you are already living with a partner
  • Negotiating and drafting separation agreements
  • Managing arrangements for children if a relationship breaks down
  • Advising you about reaching a resolution for any shared property or assets.

If you plan to live with, or are living with, your partner then we can help you to enjoy the maximum legal protection, by way of a clear and concise Cohabitation Agreement.  Such agreements can provide an element of certainty for both parties in the event of a relationship breakdown and can help to avoid, or significantly reduce conflict, uncertainty and cost in such a situation.

A Cohabitation Agreement can be drafted at any time before, or during, a period of cohabitation.  It will set out what financial arrangements you would like to be put in place should your relationship come to an end, including for the division of property and other assets.

Our specialist solicitors take time to understand your personal circumstances, your individual and shared assets in order to advise you on your options, understand what best suits you and then draft a Cohabitation Agreement that works fairly in the event of a separation.  We work with you to define mutually agreeable terms.

If your relationship has broken down, we will help you unravel your legal, financial and practical ties.  If there are children of the relationship and you are unable to agree the arrangements for them directly with your partner, then we will help you to resolve such matters.  We will also advise and assist you regarding the financial claims that you are able to make for their benefit, including for housing, capital payments, maintenance and payment of school fees.

If you own or have an interest in property or other assets, then we will advise you regarding such matters and help you to try and reach a resolution.  If an agreement cannot be reached, then we will work in conjunction with our commercial litigation team to represent you on an application to the court to determine such matters.

If it is possible to find a workable resolution that restores you to an amicable relationship, then we will always strive to find one.  For this reason, we always try to find a solution, whether that is through solicitor led negotiation, mediation, collaborative law or arbitration rather than embark on time-consuming and costly litigation.

 

Examples of our work:

Acting for a client in relation to a Cohabitation Agreement. Our client agreed, to give up her career so that she could accompany her partner on his regular business trips abroad and support him generally.  Negotiating terms that provided our client with an interest in her partner’s properties and other assets in the event that the relationship were to come to an end.

Advising in relation to relationship breakdown and successfully arguing that one party had created a constructive trust by carrying out extensive building works to the property with the understanding that he was gaining a financial interest in the property.

 

Related Services:

Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements Civil Partnerships

Divorce & Separation Financial settlements on divorce & separation Arrangements for Children

Tracey Dargan

Partner and Head of Divorce and Family

Kerrie Hall

Senior Family Solicitor

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I have worked with Tracey on a number of complicated cases that required two senior lawyers. Her organisation is second to none, with everything checked and digested and ‘where it should be’. Add this to Tracey's considerable technical skill and her ability to inspire, with justification, full confidence in her clients, and you have a formidable family solicitor.
  • Partner, London law firm
  • About: Tracey Dargan
Tracey has a realistic approach which aids settlement prospects, though is unafraid to stand her ground when necessary.
  • Chambers & Partners
  • About: Tracey Dargan
A proactive lawyer who goes above and beyond to deliver the right advice to clients facing personal challenges.
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