Cohabitation Agreement Northern Ireland

Millions of couples in the UK live together. Roommates and their families have fewer rights and duties than their married or civil partnership colleagues, although couples living in Scotland have more rights than couples living together in other parts of the UK. Most people think that after living with their partner for a long time, they become “Common Law Husband and Wife” with the same rights as married couples. That is not the case. In fact, couples who live together have little of the same rights as married couples or life partners. There is no common marriage. In order to ensure that your life contract has the best chance of being legally applicable, it would be advisable for any cohabitant to have independent legal advice before signing. If you would like to discuss cohabitation or divorce with an experienced family lawyer in Belfast, please contact 028 9024 2450. Increasingly, couples choose, at the beginning of their relationship, to present in an agreement what they want when that relationship breaks down. While in the United Kingdom these agreements are not legally binding at present, they can carry considerable weight under the Radmacher/Granatino decision. We believe that these agreements will be legally binding in the UK over the next few years. The termination of a cohabitation agreement may also exclude any right to spousal support that would have been applicable in the event of a divorce.

Cohabitation usually concerns unmarried couples who live together without formally registering as a couple. The concept has become very popular in recent years, with the ONS reporting that in 2012 5.9 million people were living together in the UK. Today, most marriages are preceded by cohabitation, but cohabitation has become a status in its own right with its own legal implications. In a marriage, you generally have more rights to housing, taxes, pensions, inheritance and financial support. For more information on marriage and cohabitation, contact a member of our family law team These agreements are made after a marriage and, in the same way as before marriage, you determine what both spouses want to do in the event of a marriage breakdown. Although not 100% legally binding at present, the parties, if concluded according to the criteria established by the courts, will most likely be maintained under this agreement. Couples who live together have far less rights and duties to their partners than couples. It may be a good idea to agree on a cohabitation contract that defines the living conditions between the parties.

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