Taking sensible decisions before moving in together can make it easier for both of you

Living together or getting married provides financial security but it can also cause concerns. It is a good idea to agree on things while you are friends, to secure against future conflicts.

There is a big difference between being married and cohabiting. The advantage of being married is that you provide each other with financial security. If you divorce, the general rule is that everything you own is to be divided equally and if one of you were to die suddenly, you would inherit each other’s estate. If you have children when you are married, the parents have joint custody.

If you are cohabiting partners and you separate, you only share your home and the household goods you have acquired for your joint use. What you brought into the relationship will not be divided up if you separate. If you move in together into a home that the other person owns, you are not entitled to the home if the relationship ends.

If a cohabiting relationship ends, one of the parties must request a division of property within one year or lose their right to a division of property.

If you move in together into a home that you have acquired jointly, the person with the greater need will remain in the home after separation.

Cohabiting partners do not inherit from each other unless you write a will. If you have children together as cohabiting partners, the mother will have sole custody unless you agree on joint custody.

Cohabiting partners can agree on what will happen if the relationship ends. You can agree on which assets are to be shared out and how this will be done. By drawing up a will, cohabiting partners can ensure that they inherit from each other should one of them die.

We can draw up prenuptial agreements and assist with the division of property during and after a marriage. If you are cohabiting, we can help you with cohabitation agreements, joint ownership agreements and mirror wills.