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Many cohabiting couples do not realise that they do not have the same rights as those who are married or in a civil partnership, even if they have lived together for many years. Our cohabitation solicitors in Reading can help you create a legally binding agreement that protects your rights in the event of a separation. They can also assist with other legal issues related to cohabitation, including around the ownership of property.

At Clifton Ingram, we recognise that these issues can be sensitive and there may be concerns about harming your relationship by making a formal legal agreement. However, experience shows us that removing uncertainty and giving each partner security over their rights can reduce the potential for tension as well as protect you if a separation does occur.

We work with clients in the Reading area and further afield seeking to create legally binding cohabitation agreements or needing advice on other issues related to cohabitation rights.

Our cohabitation solicitors in Reading can assist with issues including:

Why trust Clifton Ingram’s cohabitation solicitors in Reading?

  • Our team is ranked for Family Law in leading client guide The Legal 500
  • Each of our cohabitation rights experts in Reading is a member of respected family law network Resolution
  • We have the experience to deal effectively with both straightforward and more complex matters
  • Our team work strategically to clarify your rights and protect your interests in the best way for your circumstances
  • We communicate clearly in plain English and will answer your questions promptly

Our cohabitation legal advice services

Advice on your rights when cohabiting

If you are cohabiting with your partner or planning to do so, it is sensible to get legal advice. This is especially true if one of you owns the home you live in together or you co-own the property but contributed different amounts to the deposit and/or mortgage. If you have children, it is particularly important to be sure about your position if you were to one day separate from your partner.

Our experts can assess your situation and explain your legal rights, including in relation to your home. We can explain exactly what would happen if you split up, so you can then decide whether you wish to make a cohabitation agreement to protect yourself.

Making a cohabitation agreement

A cohabitation agreement is a form of legally binding contract between cohabiting partners that sets out exactly what would happen if they were to end their relationship. It can cover matters such as who would get to stay in the family home, what share of the property each person is entitled to and how any other shared assets should be divided. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘cohabitation contracts’.

Making a cohabitation agreement not only gives you peace of mind now, but it can also make things much simpler and less stressful during a separation as the potentially contentious details are already agreed. To provide real security, a cohabitation agreement must be tailored to your specific circumstances, so it is sensible to work with a specialist lawyer rather than relying on a cohabitation agreement template.

Our cohabitation agreement solicitors in Reading can assist with negotiating and drafting an agreement that matches your particular requirements. We can also provide independent legal advice on an agreement before signing.

Using deeds of trust when buying property as a cohabiting couple

When buying a property with your partner, you need to understand that the default position under the law is that you own the property equally i.e. 50/50. If this is not your intention e.g. if one person has contributed more to the deposit or mortgage, then you need a deed of trust to specify this.

Also known as a declaration of trust, this can be used to state how the property ownership is divided. It can either be a straightforward split e.g. 70/30 or based on a calculation e.g. each person’s share will be based on how much they have contributed financially at the time of any future separation.

If the only issue you are concerned about is the ownership of your home, then a deed of trust could potentially be sufficient meaning a cohabitation agreement might not be required. However, a cohabitation agreement has the advantage of allowing non-financial contributions to the property to be recognised, so it is important to get legal advice on this.

The application of a cohabitation agreement during a separation

If you are separating from your partner and have a cohabitation agreement, then it is worth getting legal advice. This can help to make sure the terms of the agreement mean what you intend and give you confidence over how it will be applied. If you feel the terms are unfair, you may potentially be able to challenge them,

Our cohabitation agreement solicitors can advise on the terms of an agreement, negotiate with your partner where appropriate and we can also advise on what to do if your partner is attempting to challenge or ignore the agreement.

Resolving cohabitation disputes

Disputes between cohabiting couples can be difficult to resolve, especially during a separation. Our team are experts in negotiating and alternative dispute resolution so can give you the best chance of finding a positive way forward. We can also advise on what legal options you may have if you cannot agree a resolution.

Our cohabitation legal advice fees

We aim to offer certainty over our fees with transparent upfront quotes. For certain matters, such as creating or reviewing a cohabitation agreement, the cost can typically be set on a fixed fee basis while other matters may be better dealt with according to an hourly rate. We will always inform you of the likely costs at the outset and no billable work will be carried out without your agreement.

To find out more about our fees, please get in touch using the contact details below.

Contact our cohabitation solicitors in Reading

To get in contact with our experts, you can call us on 0118 957 3425. Alternatively, you can use our contact form.

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