Cohabitation is when two people live together outside of marriage or civil partnership. In Northern Ireland, the law does not recognise couples who live together as a legal partnership. As a result, it is advised that you sign a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement is a document which both parties must sign to clarify what will happen should they ever separate. This agreement will secure your rights in case of future separation.
Cohabitation is when two people live together outside marriage or civil partnership. In Northern Ireland, the law does not recognise couples who live together as a legal partnership. As a result, it is advised that you sign a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement is a document which both parties must sign to clarify what will happen should they ever separate. This agreement will secure your rights in case of future separation.
In cohabitation, if a couple share a mortgage and then separate, both parties are liable to repay that joint mortgage. Regardless of separation or vacancy in the property. If debt is left unpaid both individuals will be jointly responsible and will equally face repercussions.
How will cohabitation affect my will?
Our Solicitors advise our cohabitation clients to write a Will as evidence that they wish to benefit their significant other. It is important to know that your cohabitant partner will not be considered your next of kin. This is because you are not legally related to them. Therefore, a completion of a Will is essential in this case. A person who dies without writing a Will may lose their possessions to an undesired beneficiary.
What happens to Children during Cohabitation?
When a cohabitant couple separates, there is a presumption that they keep whatever they own prior to the relationship. However, this is not as simple if the couple have children together. Both parents are entitled to see and develop a relationship with their child. If this cannot be mutually agreed, then we advise you to contact our family law team.
We have expertise in child law disputes; therefore, our solicitors are well-placed to help our clients. Our solicitors work to secure contact with children following a breakdown in family relations.
What happens if one party stops abiding by the cohabitation agreement?
When one party fails to adhere to a cohabitation agreement, the outcomes can differ based on the particulars of the situation and the terms established in the agreement.
In such instances, the aggrieved party may opt for legal action to uphold the agreement's stipulations, potentially commencing legal proceedings in the county court.
To ensure that a cohabitation agreement aligns with the unique circumstances of the couple, it is essential for cohabiting partners to have their agreements crafted by a solicitor and to obtain independent legal counsel for a comprehensive understanding of their rights and responsibilities.
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