If you are intending on moving in with a partner either renting, buying a property together, moving into a property owned by one of you may wish to consider the merits of an agreement that sets out your respective financial contributions to the property, the home and outgoings generally.

A cohabitation or ‘living together’ agreement can be as detailed as you as a couple need it to be to ensure clarity and peace of mind to your financial arrangements.  

Such agreements are becoming increasingly popular with the rise in cohabiting couples and the ‘myth’ of the common law spouse being dispelled.  Whilst nobody wants to consider the prospect of a relationship ending, being prepared smooths the path if circumstances change. We can advise on the necessity (or not) of an agreement in your specific circumstances and draft the necessary documentation, negotiate it terms with your partner/their representative.

The absence of a clear understanding of contributions being made to a property can give rise to a dispute about ownership.  As the claims afforded to married couples are not extended to cohabiting couples this gives rise to potential civil claims under The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) which gives the court certain powers to resolve disputes about co-ownership of properties. Such proceedings can be very complex, particularly in situations where the beneficial ownership/intended shares in the property are in dispute. They are highly fact-specific and the devil is often in the detail.

We have experience in dealing with complex cases both stand alone and linked to Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 applications.


If you would like to speak to our team about your circumstances, please fill in your details and we will get back to you.