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Moving in together is a major milestone in any relationship. However, it is important to always have a plan in place should your relationship one day come to an end.

A Cohabitation Agreement can set out the ownership of any existing assets (including property) of both cohabiting parties as well as defining what their financial responsibilities are towards each other and how their savings or jointly owned assets will be distributed should they choose to separate and end cohabitation. As such, it is commonly said that this sort of agreement is much like a prenup, although it is important to note that it does not require you to be married (or even a couple, for that matter).

Given that the law in England and Wales does not recognise couples living together as a legal partnership, parties involved in cohabitation tend not to have any rights in the event of a breakup. At Grayfords, our team of skilled family lawyers are experienced in dealing with Cohabitation Agreements and can help you come to an arrangement with your partner that provides you both with a secure plan in the event that things don’t work out.

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Frequently asked questions

Cohabitation Agreements are also known as cohabitation deeds, cohabitation contracts or living together agreements. It refers to the record of the arrangement between two or more individuals who have chosen to live together.

Such a contract establishes the rights and responsibilities that each party has regarding the property they inhabit or intent to inhabit. As such, the agreement should detail, for instance, any financial arrangements between the parties throughout the cohabitation as well as any division of joint assets after the cohabitation ends. It can also be used to record any personal property that the cohabitants may have used while living together, but which will be retained by a sole party at the end of such cohabitation.

Cohabitation Agreements are designed for people living together, either as a couple or otherwise.

Nevertheless, it is mostly used by those who do not wish to formalise their relationship by way of a marriage or civil partnership but do wish to cohabit. It can be implemented before or after the parties have started cohabiting.

A few circumstances could lead to the termination of a Cohabitation Agreement, such as:

  • The written agreement and consent of both parties
  • The marriage or civil partnership of the parties to each other
  • The marriage of one of the parties to a third party
  • The death of either party
  • The serving of a notice by either party that they wish to terminate the agreement

Cohabitation Agreements are often carried out more like a deed than a contract, which means that it should not fail for mere fact of lack of consideration (the legal name for payment). They can also include a declaration of trust. This serves as a record of the parties’ interest in any property they own together and needs to be declared in writing.

At Grayfords, our solicitors can draft a Cohabitation Agreement that is tailored to your specific needs and the circumstances of your relationship.

The agreement aims to protect both you and your partner by setting out how you wish to deal with joint assets or finances in the event of a break up. It might also establish provisions that should be made for any children involved. If you are not married, it is able to set out how assets will be divided and help you avoid lengthy legal disagreements.

Moreover, if your relationship ends up changing, in the event that both parties agree, changes can also be made to your Cohabitation Agreement.

Cohabitation Agreements are designed around your relationship, which includes making some of your current financial arrangements binding, when possible, in order to give you some security.

Whether you and your cohabitant prefer to keep your finances separate or in joint fashion, a Cohabitation Agreement allows you to build your life together mindfully and safely.

Cohabitation Agreements protect children should there ever be a separation. It does so by setting out the ways in which your children should be provided for, in the event of separation. Knowing that, no matter what happens in your relationship, your child’s future has been planned for, will likely give you unparalleled peace of mind.

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Regular Catch-up Strategies

At Grayfords, we understand the importance of developing effective strategies to achieve the desired outcomes for our clients in family law and private client law matters. That's why we prioritise regular catch-up strategies to ensure that your case is handled efficiently and aligned with your goals. 

As experienced family and private client lawyers, and strategy experts, we recognise that every case is unique and requires a tailored approach. Through regular catch-up sessions, we engage in open and collaborative discussions with our clients to gain a thorough understanding of their objectives, concerns, and preferences. These ‘catch-ups’ allow us to assess the progress of your case, identify any evolving needs or challenges, and adjust our strategies accordingly. We are also then able to put in place any personal support our clients may need should they wish to avail themselves of our coaching and therapy & mental health services at any point during their legal matter.

By maintaining regular communication, we can provide you with updates on the status of your case, share important information, and address any questions or concerns you may have. This proactive approach ensures that you are actively involved in the decision-making process and empowers you to make informed choices throughout the legal proceedings. 

Our aim is to ensure that your case is being handled in the most efficient and effective way possible. Through our regular catch-up strategies, we can evaluate the success of our current strategies, make necessary adjustments, and optimise our approach to maximise the chances of achieving a favourable outcome for you. 

At Grayfords, we value your input and understand that your goals are essential to the success of your case. Our commitment to regular catch-up strategies reflects our dedication to providing personalised and client-centered legal services. By working together, we can create a strong partnership and develop strategies that align with your vision and aspirations. 

Strategic Partnerships​

At Grayfords, we believe in the power of strategic partnerships to enhance the quality and efficiency of our legal services. We understand that legal matters often require expertise in various specialised areas, and that's why we have established strong relationships with trusted and renowned specialists in both family law, private client law, and therapy and mental health support.

Our strategic partnerships enable us to provide a streamlined and comprehensive legal service to our clients. When your case requires consultation or assistance in specific areas of the law, we have the resources and connections to quickly and efficiently engage the right experts. 

Whether it's a complex family law issue or a multifaceted private client law matter, our network of trusted specialists allows us to draw upon their knowledge and experience to provide the best possible advice and representation for our clients. These partnerships ensure that we can offer comprehensive solutions that address all aspects of your case, providing you with a holistic approach to your legal (and personal) needs. 

By collaborating with specialists in various legal fields, we can navigate intricate legal challenges more effectively, saving you time, effort, and potential complications. Our commitment to strategic partnerships means that we stay informed about the latest developments in family law and private client law, ensuring that our advice and strategies are up-to-date and relevant. 

At Grayfords, we value the importance of offering a well-rounded legal service to our clients. Our strategic partnerships enable us to tap into a wealth of expertise and resources, ultimately enhancing the quality and effectiveness of our services. You can trust that we have the necessary connections to consult with specialists whenever needed, ensuring that every aspect of your case is addressed with proficiency and efficiency while also supporting you on a personal level as needed.

Time for you

At Grayfords, we understand the value of time, and we prioritise our clients by ensuring that they receive the attention and support they need throughout their legal journey. Unlike other family law and firms, we never claim to be too busy for our clients. We believe that effective communication is essential, and our team is always accessible and responsive to your needs.

Whether you have a question, or concern, or need an update on your case, our dedicated team of family law and private client law experts will be readily available to assist you. We go the extra mile to ensure that you can reach us conveniently and promptly. You can count on us to answer your calls or reply to your messages on platforms like WhatsApp, enabling efficient and effective communication.

Our commitment to internal collaboration and dynamism ensures that there is always someone available to address your family law or private client law case. We understand that legal matters can be time-sensitive, and we strive to provide timely and accurate advice. You can rely on our team's collective knowledge and expertise to guide you through the complexities of family law and private client law.

At Grayfords, we recognise that your time is valuable, and we respect that by being responsive, accessible, and dedicated to your case. We prioritise open and transparent communication, keeping you informed and involved every step of the way. You can trust that we will dedicate the necessary time and attention to your legal matters, ensuring that you feel supported and well taken care of.

Specialised Service

At Grayfords, we offer a specialised range of services across both family law and private client law, tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients. With a focus on honesty, empathy, and pragmatism, we provide reliable legal advice that is designed to help our clients achieve success in their legal matters. 

In the realm of family law, we understand the emotional challenges that can arise during sensitive family disputes. Our team of experienced family law solicitors provides compassionate support and guidance throughout the process. Whether you are going through a divorce, child custody battle, or dealing with complex property division, we have the expertise to navigate these intricate matters while prioritising your best interests. 

In the field of private client law, we recognise the complexities and demands that business owners and HNWIs face in today's dynamic marketplace. Our private client law services encompass a wide range of areas including wealth planning, asset management, trusts, wills, probate, and lasting powers of attorney. We aim to be your trusted legal partner, offering strategic advice and solutions that align with your commercial objectives as you navigate your family matter. 

At Grayfords, we believe in fostering long-term exceptional working relationships with our clients. Our dedicated team goes above and beyond to understand your unique circumstances and provide tailored legal solutions that anticipate your individual needs. We pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding personal service level, ensuring that you feel supported and informed throughout your legal journey.  

Our ultimate goal is to alleviate the pressure and stress often associated with legal matters. We are committed to guiding you through the complexities of family law and private client law, allowing you to focus on what matters most to you. Trust Grayfords to provide you with the specialised legal services you deserve, backed by our expertise, integrity, and dedication to your success.