Family Law Specialist

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Cheadle, Stockport,
Greater Manchester

Family Law & Finances

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Nicola Williams Solicitor

financial family law for individuals and families

Why you need a cohabitation agreement

Living together? Buying a home or a car? Taking out a loan?

You need a cohabitation agreement. They’re straightforward, affordable and can save you a fortune.

What is a cohabitation agreement

Sometimes known as a Living Together Agreement, a cohabitation agreement is a basic contract/agreement between couples about the property they own.

Typically, a cohabitation or living together agreement will:

Identify the shares you each have in your home (sometimes this is to confirm that one of you has no share in the value of the property);

State whether contributions to living costs will entitle either of you to a share (or a greater share) in the value of the property;

List any other significant jointly or separately owned property or assets (e.g. a car) and the shares you each have in them.

A more detailed cohabitation agreement will set out your intentions if one of you dies.

For example, you might want to ensure that your partner is able to continue to live in your home. This may be until they have another relationship or die or it could be for a fixed period of time.

How a cohabitation can save you money

If you are putting a deposit down on a house/flat purchase, itis vital that you record the share it is buying in your home.

If you don’t have a legally recognised document, you might lose some or all of your share of the equity if

one of you dies;

your partner gets into debt; or

you split up.

The laws on joint ownership of property are very strict. There are no special laws for cohabiting couples.

If you buy a property jointly with another person, it is very important to accurately record your share and your agreement about paying the mortgage and insurance.

It’s your most important asset and it’s easy to protect. Don’t risk losing any of it.

Tax

A cohabitation agreement can help save you tax in many ways.

Whether it is in relation to additional rate stamp duty, capital gains tax or income tax, having an accurate, legally recognised record of your financial relationship will help.

Affordable legal help

A straightforward agreement has to be affordable for everyone, not just the rich.

It also has to be right for you. It has to do the job you want it to do.

Don’t be tempted to download a generic DIY document because it’s ‘free’ or cheaper than getting a new front door key cut. The chances are it won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

All legally binding contracts/agreements have to be properly drafted to be legally binding under English and Welsh law.

Fortunately, the cost of protecting yourself and your property typically starts at around £240 including VAT for a straightforward declaration of no interest in property. A standard cohabitation agreement starts at £360 including VAT. And a more detailed agreement with a floating declaration of trust starts at £600 including VAT.

Fixed Fees

A cohabitation agreement (also known as a living together agreement) is a fixed fee service. After an initial free consultation, I will send you a fixed fee quote.

Summary

Cohabitation agreements are legally binding documents, setting out shares in property for unmarried couples.

It is an affordable and sensible way to avoid losing part or sometimes all of your equity in a jointly owned property when you live together.

There are often tax advantages in being able to prove what you own (and what you don’t own).

To find out how I can help you decide whether you need a cohabitation agreement, use the form below to get in touch.

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Nicola Williams is a Family Law Solicitor in the AFG Law Family Team at Cheadle Royal Business Park, Brooks Drive, Manchester, Cheadle SK8 3TD