What does a cohabitation agreement contain?
When seeking to have a cohabitation agreement drawn up, it is necessary for both parties to seek independent legal advice. The document aims to ensure that each person’s intentions with regard to finances, assets, and children are clearly stated. The agreement will contain the following:
- The names and details of the parties
- Confirmation that the parties are living together and the document will be legally binding
- Confirmation that the parties sought independent legal advice
- A schedule of the property and assets each person has acquired independent of one another, prior to cohabiting
- How property and assets should be divided upon separation
- A breakdown of living expenses, and who is responsible for paying these
A cohabitation contract may be made orally, except regarding matters dealing with interest in land. However, case law illustrates that the parties’ intentions may be more difficult to determine in the case of an oral cohabitation contract and in order to avoid disputes about what was agreed, it is far safer to have the agreement drafted by an experienced solicitor. If the cohabitation contract includes provision in relation to property, the agreement must be in writing to satisfy the requirements of the Law of Property Act 1925.