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Cohabitation Agreements

Living Together

    Dear Mary and Kim, thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me through a stressful and difficult process with all speed, diligence and expertise. I am grateful, always.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you for being a fantastic solicitor and source of support Mary I needed it!!!.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you for your excellent service and your help. If I need any further advice I will come back to you and certainly I will be recommending you to anyone who needs help and advice in family matters

    Client testimonial about Ailsa Gilhespy - Family

    Your support and advice has been a great comfort this last year and half. I wish you well too.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family & Mediation

    Mary Shaw was outstanding and professional at every turn.  She was an excellent advocate for my daughter

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Mary was understanding and supportive of our situation. [Mediation] helped to make us talk and sort out our finances without the cost of solicitors fees and court fees.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Mediation

    Mary, thank you very much for all the time and effort you have put in to get me to this good place now.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you for all your help with my divorce, I can't tell you how much happier I feel now it is all over. I am a different person to the one who came into your office last year, I was quite lost at the time but now I see a positive future.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    There’s such a lot to thank you for, like your thoughtfulness and so very much more. So I am sending warm wishes and special thanks.My life is much richer for just knowing you. People like you make the world a nicer place.

    Client testimonial about Sukhi Patter - Family

    Thanks for doing a brilliant job professionally with my case and for the personal support too.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you for the MIAM, it definitely helped me have a clearer perspective on a way forwards.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family Mediation

    You were excellent throughout my divorce. My kids are my world and I can't thank you enough for your support during this time. You are a dedicated, professional and intuitive lawyer and I will always be grateful for what you gave me in self confidence and advice.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you so much for getting my life back, kids are so happy they are home.

    Client testimonial about Lesley Monkhouse - Family

    I chose to work with Mary because of her no-nonsense approach – no false promises, no big ego claims – just downright honesty and integrity and a delivery of results at the end. Mary is professional, reassuring and has a great sense of humour. I would highly recommend her.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Service could not be improved. Rebecca was brilliant from start to finish. Proactive, efficient, approachable... The brilliant service has changed and improved my life for the better and I could not be more thankful. Highly recommend.

    Client testimonial about Rebecca Graham - Family

    Can I also thank you for the help you have given me over these final few months of my divorce and for cutting through the years of accumulated undergrowth to achieve what appears to be a satisfactory resolution....many thanks for your help it has been appreciated.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Firstly many thanks for handling our case and its successful outcome, we are delighted that matters have been sorted.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - Family

    This has been the worst week of our lives. Your support, both legal and practical, has helped us to get through it with our sanity intact. The fact that you agreed to see us within 18 hours of my initial phone call was, quite frankly, magnificent. Huge thanks from us all.

    Client testimonial about Lesley Monkhouse - Family

    Thank you very much for seeing me….and especially for giving such helpful advice about the contact with the children…..the meeting with you was extremely uplifting

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you Gael. It was very difficult today. I really appreciate what you did.

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - Family

    I thought you did a great job, I particularly valued both you and your colleagues compassionate approach as I realise a clients emotional state can affect their thinking at the height of conflict

    Client testimonial about Ailsa Gilhespy - Family

    Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding when I have been in distress.

    Client testimonial about Lucy Mead - Family

    I so very much appreciate your time and support and you being at the end of a phone …… when I was very weary. You were a lifeline for me. Many thanks.

    Client testimonial about Lesley Monkhouse - Family

    I am truly grateful for all you have done.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - Family

    I could not have asked for any better than my solicitor Elspeth, she has been my champion. I don’t have the words to thank her enough as she has been my biggest support for more than a year now. I can rate her 10 out of 10 for her professionalism, her competence and her fair advice.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - Family

    Thank you so much for your professional help together with your kindness, support and understanding.

    Client testimonial about Ailsa Gilhespy - Family

    Thank you very much for everything. I received the decree absolute, and I am very happy.

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - Family

    Thank you so much for all the help and advice. You definitely took some of the stress out of it all.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - Family

    "Everything was amazing!"

    Client testimonial about Rebecca Graham - Family

    To eventually get to the end of the process and have a fabulous relationship with my daughters seems miles away from where we started and I am in no doubt that you have been a large factor in that happening. I can’t thank you enough and wish you well in the future.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    To say that your professionalism and quality of service have been faultless would be telling only half the story. Throughout all that has gone on, your honest advice and genuine care have been an invaluable support, for which I will always be grateful.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    The MIAM was incredibly helpful. You gave me all of the information I would have expected a solicitor to give me at a first meeting.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Mediation & Family

    I desperately needed legal representation... she found me a solicitor and got straight back! Fab service

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - Family

    I would like to thank you for the service you have provided over the past few weeks. I believe that you’re prompt intervention, with regard to legality, and the professional manner in which you presented at the hearing played a key part in the other parties’ claim being dismissed.

    Client testimonial about Lucy Mead - Family

    Mary, thanks very much for all of your help over the recent years, I believe I made a wise choice when I selected David Gray as I believe the way in which you and your colleagues have helped me has been exceptional.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thanks for all help and support through a very difficult time it is much appreciated.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    I have nothing but good things to say about the service which has been provided. I hope I will not find myself in a position to have to do so, but if any of my friends are faced with divorce proceedings I would not hesitate to recommend you and your team.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Didn't feel like I said THANK YOU enough to you yesterday. So once again, a HUGE THANK YOU!

    Client testimonial about Jenny Carter - Family

    I appreciate all your time and effort, I am so happy my divorce is final. Thank you for everything and I hope to see you in the future to help me write a will.

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - Family

    Mary was patient and understanding ,she actively encouraged opinions from both sides and made the meetings a place where I felt at ease and my opinion mattered.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Mediation

    With many thanks for your calm and measured support and guidance during this difficult case.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you for all your help and support.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - Family

    I just wanted to say how very grateful I am to you. You've been a calm and supportive presence during what has been an enormously difficult time, and your advice has been invaluable. I'm very glad that we went down the collaborative route, and I think that your experience did much to smooth the path for everyone. Thank you.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    I'm sorry, apart from the obvious relief, that this will be the end of our association. You've given help and support which I've greatly valued. And I promise that if I get divorced again, I will give you first refusal.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thanks very much for your guidance during my recent divorce proceedings.  It is so nice to have peace of mind after those worrying, intervening years. I really appreciated your professional guidance throughout the proceedings and am so pleased to have been represented by yourself and David Gray Solicitors LLP during the case”.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Now that my divorce case is finally over, may I take the opportunity to let you know that I have been very pleased to have been represented by David Gray Solicitors LLP and how much I have appreciated your professional assistance and efficiency throughout the duration.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thanks very much for your help and support and most of all pushing me to the bitter end. I couldn't of done it without you and would highly recommend David Gray Solicitors and of course yourself.

    Client testimonial about Ailsa Gilhespy - Family

    I am writing to thank you for the outstanding work you did for me. Words cannot give my appreciation justice. You were superbly efficient and professional.

    Client testimonial about Nicky Hunter - Family

    Thanks again for your help Gael, I am so glad I sought your assistance.

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - Family

    My thanks to Mary for her understanding and support through the last couple of years.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

If you are planning to buy a property with your partner, or are already living with them in a property that one of you owns, you should consider having a ‘Living Together’ or ‘Cohabitation’ Agreement which clearly records what property you each own at the start of your relationship and how you intend to manage your finances such as paying the mortgage while you are living together.

This is important because there is still no law in England and Wales that allows for the assets of co-habiting couples to be divided after a separation in the way that they would be after a marriage. After a divorce, the law looks to share the family assets along principles of need and fairness which take a starting point of an equal division, irrespective of who legally owns any property, but the same law does not apply to couples who have not married. If you separate after living together the general rule is that you leave the relationship with any property or other assets, such as savings or investments, that you legally own in your name. This can often result in in a sense of unfairness or hardship, particularly if one of you feels you have made significant contributions in terms of financial or family commitment, such as looking after the home or family, which is not reflected in how you own the assets if your relationship if it ends.

While it is possible to make or defend a claim in the civil courts about how a property or other as-sets owned either by one of you or jointly should be shared, these cases are usually complicated and can be costly and time-consuming to resolve. These cases require the court to look at and in-terpret evidence of contributions and agreements which can be hard to prove, particularly after a long relationship.

The best way to avoid this difficulty and uncertainty is to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement, which you can update to record any change in your intentions during your relationship. This is a document which clearly records your circumstances and intentions, including:

1. What property you each own at the start of your relationship;
2. How you intend to own any property that you buy during your relationship. This is particularly relevant if for example you buy a property you intend to own together but only one of you is able to take out a mortgage and own the legal title.
3. Who will be responsible for any mortgage payments and other outgoings and whether you intend this to be reflected in the shares you will have in any property you own if you separate.
4. Whether having children together will change how you intend to share or own your property;
5. How you would intend to divide your property and other financial assets if you separate.

At David Gray we have solicitors who are specialists in the law affecting people who are Cohabiting and we can advise you an all aspects whether you are planning to live together or already doing so. Some of our cohabitation specialists are also trained Collaborative lawyers and we can offer you this option to use to agree the terms of your agreement.

If you would like further information or advice about Cohabitation Agreements or any other issue related to living together please contact Louise Law on 0191 243 8163.

The team specialising in this area of work

  • Partner
  • Partner
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor
  • Solicitor
  • Trainee Solicitor
  • Legal Assistant
  • Legal Assistant