Advice about living together

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If you are living with your partner, or intending to do so, you may wish to consider entering into a cohabitation agreement. This can set out how you both intend to manage financial matters – both during your relationship and if it were to break down in the future. It can also, as part of your wider financial planning, set out your intentions if you were to pass away whilst living with your partner.

We can advise on a very wide range of issues which you may wish to consider, such as interests in property, running costs of the home, your business and other assets, and what may be best for your children if you were to separate.

Cohabitation agreements are particularly important when children are involved. If you go your separate ways, your children’s future – where they will live and who will support them – should be clear.

We draft bespoke agreements for our clients, so will take the time to discuss your requirements with you and prepare an agreement which addresses your needs and concerns.

Common questions on living together

We strongly recommend that you enter into a cohabitation agreement if your partner moves in with you or vice versa. This will set out clearly how you will manage the financial aspects of your relationship, such as for maintenance of the property or payment of the bills, and will also determine what should happen to any joint finances upon separation. It is especially important if you own your own home, in order to avoid inadvertently allowing your partner to obtain an interest in the property.

  • If you are buying a property with your partner and are contributing different amounts to the purchase price, or will be paying different amounts to the mortgage going forward, then you need to enter into a Declaration of Trust. Without a Declaration of Trust, the court will presume that you own the property equally. If this is not your intention, then you should discuss a Declaration of Trust with your conveyancing solicitor and they can refer you to a colleague to discuss your options.

Cohabitation agreements are bespoke agreements so they can deal with any issues as required by you and your partner. By way of example, they can cover the following:

  • Who will own the property you live in
  • Who will pay the rent or mortgage
  • Who will pay the bills, and in what proportions
  • Who will own the contents of the property
  • What contributions will be made towards the upbringing of your children
  • What provision should be made for the children if you were to separate

What will happen to the property if one of you were to pass away (a cohabitation agreement cannot, however, replace a will and we have colleagues who can advise you about your will).

A cohabitation agreement is a type of contract between you and your partner. Whilst financial disclosure is not essential, we recommend that you do provide a certain level to your partner, as this will inform their understanding of the cohabitation agreement and its terms. However, we can discuss your options with you and structure any disclosure with your objectives and concerns in mind.

Please refer to our Unmarried Financial Disputes page for more information

If you have a question that isn’t here or would like advice from one of our family solicitors on financial settlement, then do get in touch with the family team on +44 (0)1892 506 275

Don't just take our word for it...

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Sophie Barrett

Senior Associate

+44 (0)1892 506 249

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Claire Tollefson

Managing Associate

+44 (0)1892 506 191

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Sarah Griffiths

Legal Secretary

+44 (0)1892 506 275

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Alex Davies


+44 (0)20 7591 3314

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Vanda James


+44 (0)1892 506 184