As the law stands, the only solution for couples who want legal protection when they separate is either to marry, to enter into a life partnership, or to enter into a cohabitation agreement, also known as a community of life or “no Nup”. Any cohabitation agreement is slightly different depending on the needs and circumstances of the couple who create it, but in all cases, the agreement will record substantial facts about the ownership of a couple of assets, as well as provisions as to whether the relationship breaks. These contracts are called “cohabitation agreements.” “They [the agreements] can be valid and legally binding, provided they have been concluded with each of the parties that have received separate and independent advice on the effects; if each party has provided the other with full and open financial disclosure and there is no evidence that any of the parties are under pressure to enter into such an agreement,” says Ayen Soyer, partner at Wilsons Solicitors in the family team. Recording your relationship can be a good way to protect your partner. For example, a registered partner is in a stronger position if you die without leaving a will that names them as heirs. However, it is always useful to prepare an agreement on cohabitation and other appropriate documents (for example. B will). It is a good practice to review your life contract every five years, or if your living conditions change significantly, especially when a child is born. The following information on separation agreements is in relation to current requirements. However, we are aware that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act currently passes through the independent legal advice of Parliament: after all, obtaining independent legal advice is an essential part of the process of developing the agreement, even if the cohabitation agreement is not part of the agreement, an essential part of the agreement-making process.
For the agreement to be legally binding, both parties must be able to demonstrate that they have accepted the conditions set out in the document, in good faith and with full knowledge of what they mean. If the couple dissolves and the agreement reaches the court, it is much more likely that it will be upheld if each party can prove that they received legal advice before signing anything. Christopher Dolton is the principal supporter of our family rights team and has extensive experience advising and supporting clients in cohabitation contracts. He has the experience, legal know-how and practical know-how to guide you through the process and prepare a custom cohabitation agreement, tailored to your specific circumstances.