Cohabitation

Cohabitation can be a minefield when it comes to dividing your assets upon separation. Our team of family solicitors can help.

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Cohabitation

Advice and support for cohabiting couples who need to protect or divide their assets

Many couples who live together wrongly believe they are ‘common law husband and wife’. The truth is that this is an urban myth and dividing assets in the event of separation can be even more complex than if they had been in a formal partnership or marriage.

Our family law specialists can advise on and create a cohabitation agreement to establish your intentions at the outset. This process is similar to drafting a prenuptial agreement before a marriage.

Without a cohabitation agreement in place, establishing asset ownership on separation may involve complex rules of property and trust law, requiring thorough examination of the intentions at the time cohabitation began and throughout the relationship.

We will help you identify which of your assets are considered joint or sole, as well as whether you are jointly or solely responsible for any liabilities accumulated whilst you were together. If there are other complex issues to consider, such as trusts, inheritance, business relationships and property transactions, we will explain your options.

In certain situations, it may be possible to claim an interest in a property even if you are not registered as the legal owner, as long as you can prove that you made a financial contribution or that it was agreed you would have an interest and you relied upon that agreement to your detriment.

If there are any dependent children, a property may also be transferred to the parent with the care of the children for as long as it will benefit them. Once it is no longer required, there may then need to be determination of the ownership.  

We are committed to using our considerable skills to avoid going to court wherever possible, such as through collaborative law, mediation or by conducting roundtable meetings. However, we also have extensive court experience and maintain strong relationships with barristers, making us a formidable team who will represent your best interests robustly and professionally.  

If you are separating from a partner you live with, contact us to discuss how our family law specialists can help you. We are conveniently located in St Albans, Harpenden and Luton.

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‘The Times’ in cooperation with ‘Statista’

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