It is important to understand that although courts are showing more willingness to take cohabitation agreements into account, there is still no certainty that they would enforce one. It is a type of contract, so it is important for it to meet certain legal criteria that apply to all contracts.
Your agreement is more likely to be treated seriously by a court if you follow these guidelines. The document should be:
- In writing: This shows that you intend to be legally bound and the agreement should plainly state you have such an intention.
- Clear and unambiguous: You have to be very specific about your intentions. For example, if part of the agreement relates to one of you making financial provision for the other, you need to set out where the money will come from and how it will be paid. Using vague or general terms will make the agreement 'void for uncertainty'.
- In the form of a deed: This means that it is a legal document. The agreement needs to record that it is being signed as a deed in the presence of independent witnesses to your signatures; be in writing and dated.
- Be made after taking independent legal advice: This is particularly important if the terms of the agreement seem to favour one of you over the other. Otherwise, it may be argued that one of you tried to disadvantage the other unfairly.
Contact Dale & Co to arrange an appointment to discuss setting up a cohabitation agreement to protect the interests of yourself, your partner and any children you may have.
Last Updated: Thursday 25th April 2019
FIND OUT MORE