Cohabitation

Cohabitation Solicitors

Cohabiting couples must carefully consider their needs and the contribution they are making, financially and otherwise, to their relationship and shared home. It is especially important to think about the possible impact of a future separation and to have the very best legal support if that time has come.

At F Barnes, our specialist Family department includes recognised experts in cohabitation law and rights for unmarried couples. We can provide clear advice on your rights and how to protect yourself against the risk of separation, helping to keep your relationship harmonious and to avoid unnecessary conflict if you are separating.

We offer a 30-minute free initial consultation to understand your requirements and advise you on how we can help, including the likely costs involved.

Our cohabitation law expertise includes:

  • Cohabitation agreements
  • Buying property as a cohabiting couple
  • Separation for unmarried couples

What our cohabitation lawyers can offer you:

We are experts in advising cohabiting couples in relation to high value, complex matters. Our team is committed to offering bespoke advice and close personal attention for our clients, so we are selective about the work we take on. This allows us to ensure every client benefits from the support of a qualified and highly experienced lawyer from day one.

Our team offers exceptional specialist expertise and many years of experience. Our Managing Director and Head of Family, Tiina Juhanson, was one of the first solicitors in the area to gain Family Panel accreditation with the Law Society and is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Finance.

We always start by carefully defining what you want to achieve, both in terms of the outcome you want and the way you would like to approach matters. Where a dispute arises, our strong skills in negotiation and mediation mean we can often achieve an amicable settlement, while our team also includes a number of highly respected litigators with an excellent record of success in court proceedings.

Contact our cohabitation solicitors in Essex

You can contact us during our office hours of 9am-5pm at your local branch in Romford, Gidea Park or Collier Row by giving us a call on:

Alternatively, contact us at any hour of the day by filling in our online enquiry form, and we will get in touch.

We endeavour to return all enquiries the same or next working day, and you will be able to speak to someone within our Family Law team straightaway.

Our cohabitation legal services

Cohabitation agreements

Unmarried couples have no automatic rights over each other’s property or assets. This is often surprising to people who believe they have rights under the concept of ‘common law marriage’, but there is no such thing from a legal perspective.

Unfortunately, this can mean that people are often left in financial difficulties if they separate from their unmarried partner and proper provision has not been agreed upon. It is therefore strongly recommended to make a cohabitation agreement if you are living with or plan to move in with a partner.

A cohabitation agreement allows you to set out what rights and responsibilities each partner has, including over things like paying the rent or mortgage on your home, and what each person would be entitled to if you were to one day separate. This can avoid confusion and ensure that each person’s needs would be met whatever the future brings.

Our cohabitation solicitors can assist with drafting cohabitation agreements, negotiating their details and advising on their application during separation.

Property rights for cohabiting couples

Property rights can often be a point of confusion for unmarried couples and an area where bitter disagreement can arise in a separation. It is essential to understand exactly what your rights are and to make sure that you are happy with this situation during your relationship. This allows you to protect yourself and minimise the risk of disputes if you ever separate.

Generally, you will own property as joint tenants, where you share ownership of the entire property. You will have equal rights to the property irrespective of whatever financial contribution you may make to the deposit, mortgage payments and other costs.

Alternatively, you may own as tenants in common. This means you each individually own a distinct share of the property.

One way to make each party’s contribution and rights clear is by creating a deed of trust (also called a ‘declaration of trust’). This allows you to specify what share of the property each party owns, how much you will contribute to the deposit and mortgage and other key details.

Our cohabitation solicitors can advise you on your rights and assist with preparing any necessary documentation to clarify your respective positions and how such documents will be interpreted during a separation.

Separation for unmarried couples

If your relationship has ended, it can be a difficult and confusing time, especially if you are unclear on your rights. Getting expert advice can help you to understand what you are entitled to and what issues you need to resolve.

Our cohabitation solicitors can support you through separation as an unmarried couple, including helping to settle matters such as the division of finances and arrangements for children. Whatever your situation, we can ensure your rights are defended and help you to be able to move forward in a positive way.

Our cohabitation solicitors’ fees

We offer a free 30-minute interview so we can get to know your requirements and provide advice about our legal fees.

Where possible, we will quote fixed fees, allowing you full certainty over how much your case will cost with us. However, we can provide tailored information about our flexible funding options when you contact us.

Contact our cohabitation solicitors in Essex

Get in touch with our friendly cohabitation lawyers to talk about how we can help you.

You can contact us during our office hours of 9am-5pm at your local branch in Romford, Gidea Park or Collier Row by giving us a call on:

Alternatively, contact us at any hour of the day by filling in our online enquiry form, and we will get in touch.

We endeavour to return all enquiries the same or next working day, and you will be able to speak to someone within our Family Law team straightaway.