I am moving in with my partner, but we aren't married, do i need to protect my assets in case of separation? 

A frequent misconception shared by many unmarried couples who are thinking about living together is that they have some protection under “Common Law” marriage.


This is in fact a myth. If you are considering moving in with your partner, or if you are already living together, then we recommend drawing up a cohabitation agreement. This is particularly important when children are involved. 


A cohabitation agreement is a legal document drafted by a qualified lawyer which sets out the financial arrangements during the relationship and also what will happen to your assets in the event of the relationship ending. It is an agreement that can evolve and is a working document which can  be reviewed.


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Frequently asked questions... 

The agreement will show in detail who owns what and contribution during the relationship eg what happens if one party stops work and has a child. The agreement can also address how you will share your property, your personal belongings, your savings, and any other assets if you were to separate and sell the house/move out.


It can be used to agree how you will manage your day-to-day finances during your relationship, for example how much each of you will contribute to paying the rent or mortgage, and your bills.


It can even detail whether you intend to take out life insurance and arrangements as to pension benefits as an example. 

How best to discuss the contents of  a cohabitation agreement with your partner may appear daunting, but it is a recommended conversation to protect both of you in the future.

It may seem unromantic, but it is all about careful planning between two people who love and respect each other. Think about it as future relationship planning.

Having a cohabitation agreement in place can really take the pressure off both of you and provide reassurance.


If you are renting, your cohabitation agreement can reflect how much a partner will contribute in rent and what happens to any bills, credit cards or joint purchases if the relationship ended.


Cohabitation agreements can also be made between people who are not romantically involved but are living together, for example, friends or siblings. If you’re thinking about owning property together, a cohabitation agreement can make things that much easier to deal with.


The cost of getting a cohabitation agreement drawn up can vary depending on your circumstances. The cost of not obtaining a cohabitation agreement, both financially and emotionally, can be considerably higher. 


We are clear on costs from the outset and offer free, initial meetings to discuss options. 

Just like a Will, your cohabitation agreement should be reviewed if your circumstances change such as you have a child together, changes to financial positions etc. 


If you have any questions as to whether your cohabitation agreement needs updating, we can advise in your free, initial meeting. Get in touch with us today. E: familylaw@awdry.law 


Our lawyers offer a free initial consultation to talk through your needs and provide you with advice to meet your needs. We will also discuss next steps and provide details as to costs.


Contact a member of our team to talk to us about drafting your cohabitation agreement or any other family law matter. E: familylaw@awdry.law or make a quick enquiry via our website and we will get back to you the same day (subject to business hours). 



With offices in Chippenham, Devizes, Marlborough, Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon, our experienced lawyers are here to help. 


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