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Family Matters

Do I need a Cohabitation Agreement?

A. With a growing trend of increasing number of people choosing to cohabit compared with marriage; what happens if and when a relationship breaks down? What entitlement or share do you receive from the former family home?

In general, the court’s first approach is to consider in whose name the family home is registered in ascertaining the party’s intention when they first purchased the property. If the property is not in joint names, then there may be an assumption there was no intention to share. Secondly, the court will take into consideration any financial contributions made by the parties towards the utility bills and mortgage. Thirdly, the court may also consider any major refurbishment work undertaken to the property which has helped increase the value of the property.

A cohabitation agreement can assist in that it will show the intention of the parties when they first purchased the property. Further, it will set out what will happen in the event the family home is sold. It will also take into account any large financial contributions either party made towards the purchase, for example, the deposit, so that the party who made such contribution will be recompensed.

It is better to have a cohabitation agreement than not. If you have any further queries or affected by such issue then please contact our Family Solicitor Pavinder Khela at our Stamford Office on 01780 752066 or email directly to

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