Giving you peace of mind if things go wrong
An agreement tailored to your individual needs.
A cohabitation agreement will provide you with peace of mind, should things go wrong. Under Jersey law unmarried couples have no legal rights if they separate. As a result, some cohabiting families can find themselves facing real difficulties should they split up. As it stands the only solution for cohabiting couples who want legal protection should they split up is either to get married or enter a civil partnership, or to enter into a cohabitation agreement.
Because of Jersey’s rules regarding residential status, it is becoming more common for only one partner to be named on the deeds. If a cohabitation agreement is not in place, then the person in whose name the property is in had the rights to the property which will cause issues especially where the other partner has contributed towards the property and expects to have an interest.
Therefore, by coming to an agreement before or whilst you are living together, you will:
- have a clear understanding of what your financial commitments are
- avoid misunderstandings regarding your rights and responsibilities as you continue to live together, in particular with regards to ownership of property
- avoid disagreements if you split up
What is a cohabitation agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is a contract between unmarried couples who are living together. The agreement can set out the ownership of existing assets and how your assets will be dealt with should you later split up.
What can a cohabitation agreement cover?
Each cohabitation agreement is different and its content will depend on your individual circumstances. That said, there are a number of things you should consider covering:
- the ownership of property including property owned before living together and property bought while living together
- how household bills will be dealt with, in circumstances where you and your partner are not joint owners of your home or situations where one partner contributes more than the other
- movable assets such as bank accounts, pensions, house contents, pets and how they should be dealt with
- payment of debts
When drawing up the co-habitation agreement, you will both need to seek independent legal advice to ensure that there is no doubt as to what you are agreeing to.
Our highly experienced family lawyers are experts in this field and have helped many couples setting up home, or already living together, to draw up agreements that are tailored to their own individual needs. Contact our family team today.