Cohabitation Agreements

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Lenaleii
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Cohabitation Agreements

Postby Lenaleii » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:02 pm

Hi all,

My DP and I are planning on moving in together once lockdown is over. As we're not planning on getting married for another couple of years and I own the flat, we want to sign a cohabitation agreement to make sure we're both protected. Has anyone got experience of signing something like this that can offer any advice for potential pitfalls/lawyer recommendations?

Many thanks!
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henricook
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Re: Cohabitation Agreements

Postby henricook » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:21 am

Hey Lenaleii!

It's a related but not exact answer to your question. I've recently been through exactly this, my SO moving into a house that I own. I also went down the route of looking for some kind of agreement to protect my property because I'd heard things about 'common law marriage' and how they might have a claim on it one day if something went bad.

I actually spoke to a lawyer who told me cohab agreements were near impossible to enforce and that I shouldn't bother (NB: always get your own legal advice ;-)). I also worried a lot about the sour taste it would add to our exuberant move in together if I forced a sit down to agree terms for if we broke up.

I think I also discovered that common law marriage is a myth so my SO wouldn't actually have any claim if they tried (link at the end).

Just in case though, for additional peace of mind we signed a lodgers agreement and she effectively pays rent which is very purposefully not a direct contribution to the mortgage. I don't know how much more it protects me but thought why not.

Back on common law marriage there's actually a bill languishing somewhere in parliament that might make it a thing, worth keeping an eye on: https://services.parliament.uk/bills/20 ... sbill.html

And a summary from parliament: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/re ... s/sn03372/
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clare74
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Re: Cohabitation Agreements

Postby clare74 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:34 am

I would really recommend talking to Priya Gill, a family lawyer who does a lot of work in this area - https://www.familylawyerlondon.co.uk/. I'm sure she'd be happy to talk you through how you can protect your respective interests.
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Kim Marshall
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Re: Cohabitation Agreements

Postby Kim Marshall » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:36 am

I am a family lawyer and think you should certainly consider a cohabitation agreement to protect your interests. I am happy to speak to you about your specific circumstances to see if I can help.
https://www.keystonelaw.com/lawyers/kim-marshall
 
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99pctpractice
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Re: Cohabitation Agreements

Postby 99pctpractice » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:41 pm

Hello - when my partner moved in to my home, he didn’t pay rent but instead put money in a joint bank account that we used for a holiday fund. He hated it in principle (because he would have preferred to feel like he was contributing to the home) but we both totally loved the holidays. Depends a bit on your financial status if it would work for you, but it might be a bit simpler and has less potential for taking the excitement out of moving in together than a cohabitation agreement. If your home is very valuable, you have significantly more wealth than your partner and/or you have concerns about your partner’s behaviour if things didn’t work out, then a cohabitation agreement might be more appropriate for you.
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boonkoh
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Re: Cohabitation Agreements

Postby boonkoh » Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:38 pm

If things do turn sour and your DP wants to make a claim, then they'll have to prove to the court that they were contributing to the property.

A simpler way would be just to have an email exchange, where your DP acknowledges that you own the property 100%, and that he is just a guest at your property and nothing more. While this isn't a contract, this email would be very good evidence in court if he ever does decide to bring a claim. It's still an awkward conversation - but less so?
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dimelda
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Re: Cohabitation Agreements

Postby dimelda » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:39 pm

Can you please enlighten me:  what is a DP ??!
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