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Taking the plunge after lockdown

 August 2020 |  Anna Jones

Lockdown has been a difficult period for everybody, regardless of their living arrangements. There has been plenty of coverage of couples whose relationships have not survived lockdown, but what about couples who have been kept apart by Covid?

After a few tough months of relying on video calls and virtual ‘date nights’, you might have spoken to your partner about taking the next step in your relationship and moving in together.  This will be an exciting time for both of you, but in between trips to Ikea, it is also important to consider what the legal implications of this milestone will be.

So, what about common law marriage?

As has already been explored here on our blog, there is no such thing as ‘common law marriage’. Whether you have lived with your partner for 20 months or 20 years, the law does not currently give you the same rights that couples who have married or entered into a civil partnership benefit from.

This can seem daunting, particularly if you or your partner own the property you will be living in.  You need to consider what will happen if you separate – how can you best protect yourself? A cohabitation agreement (sometimes called a living together agreement) can help – even if you are already living together!

So, what is a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal agreement entered into by you and your partner. It can cover the arrangements you and your partner want to have regarding property ownership, finances, bills (including rent), debt, and what will happen if you separate – even down to arrangements for pets.

By entering into a cohabitation agreement, you and your partner can explore the day-to-day practicalities of living together whilst you are in the best place to do this: in agreement that you have an exciting future to look forward to together and are willing to co-operate positively and honestly with each other. A comprehensive cohabitation agreement can avoid expensive litigation and the distress that comes with this should you and your partner separate.

If you would like to find out more about how Fullers can help please contact reception on 01234 343134 or email us at enquiries@fullersfamilylaw.com. We offer a free 20 minute consultation and we would be very happy to book you an appointment.


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