Cohabitation Agreements, Declarations of Trust and Prenuptial Agreements

What are they and how do they help me?

Many couples nowadays choose to live together before they get married. What happens where the house is held in one party’s sole name? Does the other party obtain any rights to the property? What steps can be taken to protect each party? What if they buy a property together? What if they get married?

Follow Sarah and Jack’s journey to learn more about the options available to you if you want to protect your assets:

When the 'Bank of Mum and Dad' want to protect their gift ...

Sarah has been in a relationship with Jack for a year. Sarah’s parents gave her £50,000.00 to help her buy her own property which she purchased two years ago in her sole name.

Jack has been living with his parents. Sarah and Jack are ready to take the next step in their relationship and they want to live together. They have agreed that Jack will move into Sarah’s property and he will save up a deposit so that they can eventually sell Sarah’s house and buy a new property together.

What do her parents think?

Sarah’s parents are worried that Sarah may lose out financially if the relationship turns sour, so they have suggested she gets legal advice from a Family Law solicitor at Cunningtons so she can see what her options are. Sarah explains that she does want to live with Jack but she also wants to make sure he has no claim against her house if the relationship breaks down.

Although Jack says he wouldn’t try to make any claim against the property, Sarah is conscious that her parents helped her buy her house and she wants to protect their gift as much as possible.

The Family Law solicitor's recommendations ...

We advise Sarah that she and Jack could both sign a Cohabitation Agreement which would set out very clearly in black and white that Jack will not acquire an interest in her property, even if he pays rent or contributes towards Sarah’s mortgage and bills.

The Cohabitation Agreement can also set out how they will pay their joint outgoings such as utility bills, credit card payments, food shopping etc.

What does Sarah do?

Sarah takes our advice and we prepare a Cohabitation Agreement which is signed by her and Jack. This means that if Sarah and Jack did separate and he tried to make a claim against her property, she could produce the Cohabitation Agreement as evidence that he does not have any rights to the property.

Follow Sarah and Jack's journey next week.

If you need advice about Cohabitation Agreements you don't have to wait a week - you can just contact Cunningtons' Family Law department today! 


Parents need to look after gifts to their children Parents need to look after gifts to their children

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Cunningtons LLP in Great Square and Tofts Walk in Braintree, Essex, is the head office for Cunningtons Solicitors across the UK. Established in 1748, the Braintree head office in Great Square is still in its original offices. This amounts to almost 300 years of Experience and Tradition.

The Senior Partner at Cunningtons’ Braintree office is David Drake. Paul Fenton is the Joint Managing Partner. He, along with Johanna Withams are the residential conveyancing partners at the Braintree practice. They are supported by qualified Solicitors and Licenced Conveyancers.

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