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Cohabitation Agreements

If you and your partner are not married but are living together or making plans to, it’s important to seek legal advice to ensure your assets are protected.

Unmarried couples who live together do not have the same rights as married couples.

If you are living with your partner, it is beneficial to have a cohabitation agreement in place (formerly called a ‘living together agreement’) in case the relationship breaks down.

If you and your partner are moving in together or wish to create a cohabitation agreement for peace of mind, our team are on hand to provide a bespoke service.

What is a cohabitation agreement?

Cohabitation agreements help you record how you'll divide property, belongings, savings, and other assets if the relationship ends. These agreements also specify how you'll financially support your children and where they'll live. They cover managing bank accounts, debts, mortgages, and shared purchases like a family car.

Cohabitation agreements aren't just for break-ups. They're useful for managing day-to-day finances when you live together, such as determining each person's share of the rent or mortgage and bills. You can also use them to decide whether to get life insurance for each other.

Our family law solicitors can provide expert support for matters such as:

  • Cohabitee legal advice
  • Drafting a cohabitation agreement
  • Negotiating a cohabitation agreement
  • Making amendments to a cohabitation agreement
  • Putting a cohabitation agreement into use

We have years of combined expertise and in-depth knowledge working with a range of clients and can provide expert advice to assist with your cohabitation agreement.

Contact our family law solicitors specialising in cohabitation agreements today in London (West Drayton) on 01895 449288 or in Hertfordshire (St Albans) on 01727 840900 or email us at

Drafting a cohabitation agreement

It’s important to draft a cohabitation agreement correctly so it will be given as much consideration as possible by the courts.

If you and your partner decide to create a cohabitation agreement, our solicitors will take a detailed look at both you and your partner’s personal circumstances.

We will consider issues such as your finances, salaries, assets owned, whether you share children or have any from previous relationships and any debts incurred individually or together.

Doing this helps to draft an agreement that is completely tailored to your relationship and the needs of both parties.

Our solicitors will ensure that you are protected as strongly as possible should the relationship break down in the future.

Negotiating a cohabitation agreement

If your partner has presented you with a cohabitation agreement, there might be terms that aren’t suited to you.

Our team can assist you in reviewing the agreement and explaining the terms set out.

If you have concerns, we can address them with you and your partner, and negotiate an agreement that ensures both parties are satisfied.

Amending a cohabitation agreement

Life can quickly change. Where you and your partner already have a cohabitation agreement in place, it’s wise to regularly review and update your agreement to reflect any significant changes to your situation.

For example, if you have a child together, the agreement needs to take that into account.

Our solicitors have worked with a range of clients in different situations and can amend your agreement so that it reflects your current relationship.

Cohabitation agreement legal fees

Our fees are based on your requirements, with consideration for the level of legal expertise and ongoing support we provide.

For straightforward matters, we can provide you with a fixed fee quote, giving you complete certainty from the outset.

Where your situation might be more complex, we may charge based on the selected solicitor’s hourly rate.

Cohabitation agreement FAQs

What rights do unmarried couples have?

Unlike those who are married or are in a civil partnership, unmarried couples have no automatic legal rights towards each other.

It is a myth that when you’re in a relationship for a certain length of time and/or have children together, you become ‘common law partners’.

What should be included in a cohabitation agreement?

Each cohabitation agreement will cover different aspects depending on your personal circumstances, but generally, the following will be covered in a cohabitation agreement:

  • Ownership of property, including property bought prior to the relationship
  • Ownership of individual and joint possessions, for example, furniture
  • How each party will contribute to financial responsibilities, such as mortgage or rent, household bills and more
  • Provisions for children, including primary place of residence, contact with each parent, finances
  • Debt incurred prior to and during the relationship
  • What will happen to family pets

Is a cohabitation agreement legally binding?

Yes, a cohabitation agreement can be a legally binding document as long as the correct process is followed when drafting the agreement.

A cohabitation agreement will be legally binding when the following actions are taken during execution:

  • The agreement must be executed as a deed
  • The agreement must be signed in the presence of witnesses
  • The agreement must be fair to both parties and entered into freely
  • Both parties must have taken independent legal advice
  • Each party must disclose their full financial position

Can I still get a cohabitation agreement if I plan to marry?

Yes, you can still get a cohabitation agreement if you are planning to get married to your partner in the future.

You can set the agreement so it ends upon marriage, but if you choose to do this, it’s important to take cautionary measures in case the marriage ends in divorce, such as obtaining a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement.

It may be possible for a cohabitation agreement to be taken into account during divorce if the agreement didn’t end when you married your partner.

Contact our family law solicitors in West Drayton and St Albans

Contact our family law solicitors specialising in cohabitation agreements today in London (West Drayton) on 01895 449288 or in Hertfordshire (St Albans) on 01727 840900 or email us at