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I’m moving in with my partner. What is a co-habitation agreement?

A co-habitation agreement is an agreement drawn up by couples who are living/are about to move in together who are not married or in a civil partnership.

These agreements are set up to govern not only what happens to assets during a relationship but also what happens if the relationship breaks down.

In order to draw up a cohabitation agreement you will both have to seek independent legal advice and give a full disclosure of your financial positions. Cohabitation agreements contain anything from how you intend to deal with any property that you own or subsequently buy to whether you plan to have any children and how their welfare will be dealt with. It is best not to include behavioural things in your cohabitation agreement as it then may not be enforceable in court.

A cohabitation agreement can also help you if you wish to protect your assets from your partner in the event that you break up.

Couples who live together and are unmarried do not acquire the same legal rights as married couples, despite how long they may live together.

This is why it is especially important for any unmarried couples considering moving in together to draw up a co-habitation agreement, particularly if you are a high net worth individual with large amounts of wealth and assets. Co-habitation agreements can also be prepared after you have moved in with your partner.

If you wish to draw up a cohabitation agreement then it is very important to get expert legal advice in order to give your cohabitation agreement the best chance of standing up in court, should you need to enforce it.

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