Cohabitation is when you decide to live with someone who you are not married to. Cohabitation is different to marriage as you are not expected to maintain each other and are seen as completely different in the eyes of the law. If you were married you are seen as tied to each other, and therefore you have to maintain each other.
When you are living with someone, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself. You will be protecting yourself from unexpected events such as the death of one of you or the breakdown of the relationship. This is especially important if you are intending on purchasing the property you are going to be living in, as a family home or a joint venture.
There are a number of things that you can do to protect your financial interests, and yourself, when you are cohabiting with someone. They are not very romantic, but they are very sensible and can help you avoid problems at the end of the relationship, and a understanding during the relationship.
1. Make a Will. Each partner should have a will. If you do not have a will, and you die, then the property will pass under the rules of Intestacy. This means that it will pass to either a relative or a spouse. If a Will is in place then the ownership of the property on the event of a death will be clearly recorded.
2. Make a Cohabitation Agreement. A cohabitation agreement will solve many issues that could arise, if it is correctly made and completely fully. All this agreement will do is enforce what has already been decided by the people involved. The most sensible option when making a Cohabitation Agreement is to decide what the terms of the cohabitation will be and write them down in a formal matter, possibly following a cohabitation agreement template. You should include the following in a cohabitation agreement:
· How bills will be paid.
· How the property will be owned.
· How the house hold income will be handled.
· What will happen if the relationship breaks down.
Sitting down and deciding important aspects such as these will give the relationship a footing and show that you have planned the home that you are setting up together, putting it in writing shows that you are willing to be bound to the future together.
A Cohabitation agreement will help you to consider the implications of living together and help you run the home in a more successful way. It will also help you both to move on with your lives with as little stress and hassle as possible.