If you share your life with a partner and in a loving relationship it would be a good idea to get a cohabitation agreement set-up. This document protects your assets, property, goods in the home and anything else that you feel needs included i.e. pets etc. Imagine if you have just been divorced and been through a messy break-up, the last thing you want to do is set-up home with someone else to then have nothing in writing!
Property Ownership Rights
When we buy for the home, if we are in a relationship we consider it ‘ours’ this is great when all things are going well and positive, however what happens if you decide to no longer live together. Who gets the TV?
It is worthwhile either splitting the cost 50/50 or agreeing if you do part ways that you will take ownership for XY and your partner or friend will take ownership for Z. A family lawyer would be best to advise on a cohabitation agreement. It needs to be fair but protect you in the worst case scenario. In a lot of circumstances if its a heterosexual relationship you may marry, but regardless you both need protection for your future. A cohabition agreement may also include information about giving each other notice (bit like a work contract) so you are not leaving the other person with very limited options, that may incur lot of debt.
A cohabitation agreement should be fair, precise, include everything you feel important and of course ideally not end up with both parties in court. For example if you buy a dog together you must decide who is best equipped to look after the dog and give it the best home. These types of agreements; Prenuptial, Post Nuptial and Cohabitation are there for your protection, they are cold and seem calculated but its for your own protection. Most people work very hard for their assets and estate, you don’t want to fail to recognise what you are entitled to, especially when some family lawyers give the first meeting free of charge.