Co-habitation agreements are a sensible way of clearly recording what each person in a relationship has agreed to. Should they ever spilt up, FDC Law experts say that this agreement can help to prevent costly arguments, as the terms to which they both agreed will be within this legal document. It’s important to note that co-habitation agreements are not legally binding unless the contract is drawn up as a deed; this is a formal legal document, and needs to be created by a solicitor.
Although FDC Law says that almost any promises can be included in a co-habitation agreement, most will include promises relating to who pays for what and how the two people intend to share the home. They can also include what should happen to their shared assets if they decide to split up.
According to FDC Law, there are several benefits to having a co-habitation agreement drawn up. Firstly, it can help the couple to deal with important issues from the outset, thus avoiding more serious arguments at a later stage. It can also help both people to consider what their future together is, and if they do split up and decide to go to court, the agreement can make the process far more straightforward, as generally speaking, the court will usually uphold the terms of the co-habitation deed.
Although a less formal agreement can be drawn up without a solicitor, it’s a good idea for both people involved to seek legal advice before they sign their names to a document, to make sure that it covers all of the important aspects of their relationship and living arrangements. However, FDC Law experts also point out that even a legally binding co-habitation agreement, drawn by a solicitor may not be enforceable in court, if the couple have a child, change jobs or change their living arrangements after signing the contract. Because of this, it’s a good idea, FDC Law says, to review the agreement every couple of years, to ensure that it still meets the needs of those involved and is fair.