Cohabiting in the New Forest since Lockdown?
Considerations and useful tips for people who have recently moved in together, from Lester Aldridge Solicitors
This month's Life Matters for Lymington was written by Rosemary Sharp in the Lester Aldridge Family Team and is for people who moved in together before Lockdown or are currently planning to do so. As usual timely tips from a helpful solicitor can prompt a little thinking now about the financial and legal aspects of an apparently happy decision, and safeguard against tears which needn't have been shed!
Moving in together - an exciting time!
"Have you taken the plunge in light of the Covid-19 lockdown and moved in with your partner? Moving in together is a really exciting time but have you moved in together on a spur of the moment decision due to the impending lockdown? Sometimes it is only once you have moved in together that you realise there are important financial discussions to be had.
But limited financial claims are available for cohabitees!
It is crucial to be aware that on separation, cohabitees have very limited financial claims against one another. They do not have the same rights as married couples and there is no such thing as common-law husband and wife. You do not have an automatic right to any interest in a property you have lived in if it is owned by your partner (regardless of how long you have lived there). Similarly, you cannot claim maintenance from your partner (other than maintenance for any children you have together) regardless of how long you have been cohabiting.
Record how the financial side of your relationship will work in a cohabitation agreement
An excellent way to record how the financial side of your relationship is going to work now you’re sharing a property is to have a cohabitation agreement. This can avoid disputes in the future and enable both you and your partner to feel confident and secure in the relationship. The agreement can record the following things:
- How your home is going to be owned – is it in one person’s name or joint names?
- Who is going to contribute to what bills;
- Are you going to have any joint assets such as a bank account;
- Arrangements for support if one partner gives up or reduces their work to look after children;
- Arrangements for any children should the relationship breakdown;
- The provision of life insurance;
- Pension benefit nominations;
- How gifts made to you as a couple should be treated;
- Arrangements for pets should the relationship break down;
- Who is going to be responsible for paying family debts such as credit cards or personal loans; and
- Anything else you as a couple would like to include.
Life Matters: Lester Aldridge Solicitors on a wide range of legal matters
Life Matters is a regular monthly feature on Lymington.com, which covers a wide range of legal subjects and is always written by one of the Lester Aldridge team. You can see a list of all published articles by clicking to the Lester Aldridge Solicitors webpage on Lymington.com here.
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Lester Aldridge Solicitors are based in London, Southampton and Bournemouth - where the office covering the New Forest is situated conveniently close to the main Bournemouth train station. Their specialist teams in the various fields of law will be happy to advise and assist you, starting with a completely free initial consultation during which you can decide whether you feel able to trust them with your confidential information. For more information please click here. Consultations are also available via virtual meetings : advice is available through phone, email, Skype and Zoom.