Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Cohabitation Agreement
More and more couples are choosing to live together rather that get married; because unmarried couples have fewer legal rights than married couples, a cohabitation agreement can set out how they share finances while living together or what happens if one of them becomes ill, dies or they split up.
A cohabitation agreement is recommended for anyone considering moving in with his/her partner. People who are living together not as a couple (for example, Sister and Brother, or unrelated couples not romantically connected) may also want a cohabitation agreement. This would work the same way as a cohabitation agreement for a couple.
Cohabitation agreements typically deal with things like how property and debt will be divided. This agreement is intended to bind both parties.
An agreement can include things, such as:
- Payments of rent, mortgage or household bills
- Finances (for example, what happens to joint bank accounts)
- Property and assets (owned before or bought while living together)
- Arrangements for children
- Arrangements regarding pets
It is good practice to review your cohabitation agreement every 5 years or so, or whenever there are any major changes in your circumstances (for example, when a child is born)
Written March 2020. Do not rely on the information that you have read here without contacting one of our fee-earners to take individual advice first.
Q: What is a Consent Order, do I need one?
It is an order made by a judge in divorce proceedings, where both parties have agreed their financial settlement and agree to a financial order being made without the need for a court hearing.
A consent order will explain to the court how you intend to split assets such as money, property, pensions and savings and spousal maintenance.
If you don’t obtain this court order following a divorce, then any agreement you’ve reached isn’t legally binding.
If you have reached an agreement about dividing property, or pensions, or paying over money it is wise to obtain a consent order, to make sure the other party carried out what they have agreed. If you are dealing with pensions, the pension provider will not put the agreement into operation without an order.
Most importantly, an order will stop either spousal attempting to claim for more money or assets at a later date. This gives both parties protection and certainty for the future.
Written February 2020. Do not rely on the information that you have read here without contacting one of our fee-earners to take individual advice first.