It’s become more common for couples to live together without getting married, but many still don’t take the precautions necessary to protect their assets.
Many cohabiting couples don’t realise that if they fail to plan financially, their assets could be divided equally between them should they break up.
A lawyer who specialises in family law can help protect unmarried couples. These documents outline the couple’s assets and financial responsibilities while together and upon dissolution of the relationship.
Civil partnerships in the UK give same-sex couples, who could previously only enter into a marriage, almost exactly the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. According to Pearce Legal who is based in Solihull UK, “Roughly 46,000 civil partnerships (13% of all existing ones) have been converted to marriages since December 2005 when they became legal for heterosexual and homosexual couples.”
Cohabitation is when two people, of any gender combination, live together in an intimate relationship but are not married. Upon the breakdown of a cohabiting couple, they are free to make arrangements for themselves without any outside interference or guidance. Should they fail to plan financially, their assets could be divided equally between them.
A family lawyer assists cohabiting couples by putting together a Financial Agreement or Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement. This documents the assets and financial responsibilities of both parties while they are living together and if their relationship should end. They deal with issues such as:
– How ownership of any of the couple’s assets will be transferred to the other party upon termination of the civil partnership.
– Who is responsible for what debts, including mortgages, credit cards, or car loans.
– If they have children, who are responsible for child maintenance, and how much will each partner pay towards school fees and living expenses.
Unmarried couples who live together need to plan financially in the same way that married couples do. By putting together a legal document such as a Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement, they can protect their assets and set out financial responsibilities.