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Cohabitation Agreements

Living Together

    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

    We used David Gray Solicitors LLP when we adopted a baby boy from an orphanage in Africa, and wished to have him legally adopted in the UK. The service we received was superb; a special mention should be made for Elspeth, she gives the law profession an excellent name. Elspeth was without doubt the key reason for the success of our case.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - 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

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    I am truly grateful for all you have done.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - 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

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

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - 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

    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

    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

    I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to you for the efforts made over the past couple of years to finally get me divorced.

    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

    Just a belated thank you for everything. I would have never got through this without you. Very many thanks for your excellent professional support and guidance.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - 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

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

    Client testimonial about Ailsa Gilhespy - Family

    A big thank you to you Gael you have been so helpful, supportive and above all honest. I will if asked highly recommend you and the team.

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - 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

    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 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

    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

    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

    Just a little card to say a big thank you .....Your support and encouragement over the process (as well as all the legal stuff!) has been invaluable to myself and.....if there is any way I could repay your kindness and empathy..... Many thanks, Mary, I consider you a true friend and ally!.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - 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

    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 just want to say firstly thank you. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my children over the past year.  You’ve kept me sane and kept me on the ground and I couldn’t of asked for a better solicitor.

    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

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you very much for all your help.

    Client testimonial about Emma Neale - 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

    Can I just pass on my thanks for all your efforts with regard to the finance case and result we achieved.

    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

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - Family

    Heartfelt thanks.  I really do not know how I'd cope without you at these meetings.  You really are great at your job and its greatly appreciated.

    Client testimonial about Jenny Carter - 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

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    I am grateful for all the work you have done for me so far as well as your on going work. You are a kind, caring person and I'm privileged to have had this chance to meet you. Keep up your work, you are a good solicitor.

    Client testimonial about Sukhi Patter - 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

    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

    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

    Thank you for explaining it all so well.

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - Family

    I couldn't have done it without your help and, once again, I cannot thank you enough for your expertise and very kind attention and consideration in this case.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - 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

    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

    I just wanted to write and thank you for all your hard work in handling my case – and for your kindness, patience and empathy.  Having you “fighting” my corner and advising me, made what was a very difficult time a little easier.  Thank you and best wishes.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - Family

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family Mediation

    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 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

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
  • Solicitor
  • Trainee Solicitor
  • Legal Assistant
  • Legal Assistant