Living together is a big step to take in a relationship, and increasingly, it’s something more and more couples are doing before even getting married. This is known as cohabiting.
Something more and more unmarried couples are doing is creating a Cohabitation Agreement. This is also sometimes known as a Living Together Agreement and is legally binding in England and Wales.
A Cohabitation Agreement helps protect things like:
- The interests of your children, should the relationship end, ensuring they are adequately provided for
- Managing financial expectations – Formalising what is expected from each of you financially
- Reducing conflict – If the relationship does end, there’ll be fewer things to argue over
- Shares in Property – If you jointly own a property, you can divide the equity straight down the middle, or have it in writing exactly how much of the property is your share.
Our Family Solicitors can help you draw up a Cohabitation Agreement so that if you separate, the interests of you, your partner and your children will be protected.
Parental Responsibility for Unmarried Fathers/Same-Sex Partners
It’s unlikely that you have any Parental Responsibility if you are a father or same-sex partner who was never married to the child’s mother and do not appear on the child’s birth certificate.
Parental Responsibility means you have the right to be involved in decisions such as the child’s education and medical care. One way to obtain Parental Responsibility is to re-register your child’s birth in joint names.
If you’re unsure if you have Parental Responsibility, speak to one of our Family Solicitors, who will be happy to offer initial advice.
We can explore your options with you, particularly in cases where you and your partner both have Parental Responsibility but are locked in a dispute that needs to be decided by an Order of the Court. This is often the case where parents cannot agree on child arrangements after separation.