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If you’re starting your life with a new partner, you may want to carefully plan how you will sort out your affairs so you, your new partner, your respective children, and other family members are taken care of both now and in the future.

A cohabitation agreement helps to protect assets, protect a party from assuming the debts of another party, clarify financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage or cohabitation, and determine how property will be passed on and organized upon death. These agreements are increasing in popularity, in particular for couples who have lived together for the last two years, couples who are entering into a new partnership later in life and couples who are entering into a new partnership where one or both have extensive assets of their own.

While cohabitation agreements appear formal, especially when you’re celebrating a new relationship or marriage, they’re incredibly valuable and should you separate in future, or one of you predecease the other, it can help you to separate any assets that you’ve acquired prior to the marriage. You may be planning a long and happy future together, however circumstances can change along the way so it’s important to take precautions to protect you and your family members.

Independent legal advice is very important when drafting your cohabitation agreement. This ensures a fair agreement between both parties and makes sure that all assets are properly valued and disclosed to the other party. We can assist you in tackling life’s uncertainties with a cohabitation or pre-marital agreement to help address your concerns and start a new life on the right foot. Such agreements are a particularly good idea when you are bringing assets into the new relationship such as a house, cottage, family trust or pension.

A cohabitation agreement can provide for the circumstance in which you decide in future to marry. If you have already married but are still interested in obtaining an agreement setting out your respective rights and obligations, we can assist you in preparing a marriage agreement (similar to a cohabitation agreement, but entered into after getting married).