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Cohabitation Agreements

Living Together

    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

    Really appreciate your patience and understanding, and great professional approach. Hopefully we will see each other again, if not, I'll happily recommend you to anyone who may need your services.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you so much. Of course I regret that I will probably not see you again but at least I can draw a line under all this. Thank you for all your work and help and warmth.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - 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 all your work you gave me that bit of faith

    Client testimonial about Deborah Todd - 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

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you for explaining it all so well.

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - Family

    Sukhi Patter was very good in assisting me and at all times and reassuring that she was in control and very good at what she was doing.

    Client testimonial about Sukhi Patter - Family

    I really appreciate all you have done over the last couple of years. I simply wouldn't be where I am without your help.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - Family

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    You have been superb.

    Client testimonial about Lucy Mead - Family

    Many thanks indeed for all of your work on this matter, the service I have received has been exceptional.

    Client testimonial about Lucy Mead - Family

    I remain eternally grateful for your sound advice and support when I was at my lowest and I needed you most.

    Client testimonial about Lucy Mead - Family

    Words can’t tell how much we appreciated all the help you gave us over the past few months.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - Family

    The service your company has given me has been fantastic and would recommend you instantly.

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - Family & Court of Protection

    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

    Thank you for your support. You kept us going many a time when we wanted to give up. Thank you for giving us the strength to keep going.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - Family

    Once again please accept our thanks for a job very well done.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - Family

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

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

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - Family

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

    Client testimonial about Lucy Mead - 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

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Please pass on my thanks to Louise who was... compassionate and efficient, a winning combination.

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - Family

    Many thanks for all your help and hard work in getting these orders in place.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    I owe the success of my case to your dedication and perseverance, which you showed while handling my case. It goes without saying that I will always refer to your firm if I ever need legal assistance again. Once again my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

    Client testimonial about Nicky Hunter - 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

    Mary was extremely helpful, friendly and caring all the way through my divorce. She gave me very good advice and helped me get a good settlement that has helped me in moving on with my life. Mary was an excellent solicitor for me and she could not have done anything better I am very grateful to have had her experience and support.

    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

    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

    Can’t thank you enough for your care and consideration, attention to detail and support along the way – and for making a painful process far less so. I trusted you 100% from day one

    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

    Sukhi Patter made me feel very safe and would get the outcome in my favour. Also at no time did she make me feel worthless because I had got in arrears with paying my mortgage and would like to thank her for the outcome. Thanks very much.

    Client testimonial about Sukhi Patter - 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

    Mary Shaw has been an absolute delight to work with on finalizing my divorce. I deeply appreciate your agreeing to advise me on this matter. Your advice to me has been simply invaluable.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Just wanted to wish you and yours a wonderful happy Christmas. Thanks to you, my Christmas is going to be so much happier and relaxed than I thought it would be, so thank you.

    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

    I just want to say thank you for your help this morning with regards to my concerns.

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - 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

    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'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

    So happy with the outcome thank you for your help.

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - Family

    We are immensely grateful to you and your team for the outcome of the court order today. The whole process has been quite stressful, but we felt fully supported and completely guided by you. You were a good friend rather than a legal contact. Your expertise of the law and how to overcome the hurdles in this difficult case were superb.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - Family

    I was the luckiest person to have Mary Shaw help me through my divorce. She was firm, but never pushy, forthright but always fair, sympathetic but never deviated from the goal of practically carrying me through this torrid time. She was always there.She was the friend that talked sense and gave you a gentle shake to wise up and push forward.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    It has been a pleasure working with you – I will recommend you far and wide!.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    I am so thankful for all your help and truly believe if I hadn't met you my child and I wouldn't be going home.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - Family

    Thank you so much for doing everything to help me get the boys back.  You and your team do such a great job and I hope yous have as much happiness as I have now the boys are back where they belong.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - 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

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

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - 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