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Cohabitation Agreements

Living Together

    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

    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

    Elspeth is such an amazing professional, I feel I was very lucky to have found her for my case, she is a very knowledgeable, passionate and pro active individual. She always kept me updated about my case through emails and was always available for phone calls.Simply we need more people like her in this profession, I am really grateful to Elspeth.

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - 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

    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

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - 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

    So happy with the outcome thank you for your help.

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - 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

    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 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

    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 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

    Thank you so much for all your support and wise counsel. Life has certainly changed a lot since our early conversations… Thanks to you I have the beautiful loving relationship with (my child) I dreamed of. A priceless contribution and job well done!

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you, it has been like a dark cloud hanging over me and my family, all I needed was someone like yourself to give me a glimmer of hope.

    Client testimonial about Anna Curphey - Family

    You have shown the right mixture of a professional and a personal approach, which was very supportive to me and has achieved a good result.  This was extremely helpful for me as a client

    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

    I am truly grateful for all you have done.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - 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

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - 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

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - 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

    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 for the excellent support.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - 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 the sound advice and for handling a very tricky situation so well.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Just wanted to thank you so much for your representation today and your calming influence. Your professionalism and knowledge was second to none.

    Client testimonial about Sukhi Patter - 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

    I have got through it with your support and you have kept me on the right tracks for the last 12 months too - even if it was sometimes things I didn't want to hear! ..... if we hadn't have had such a great solicitor (our daughter's) life could have turned out very different.

    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

    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

    You have been superb.

    Client testimonial about Lucy Mead - 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 all your help and support.

    Client testimonial about Claire Hunter - 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

    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 your highly professional support, and attention to detail……. At the start I was not sure how the long distance collaboration would work but it has been a very friendly, easy, working relationship between us, and I appreciate very much how you conveyed a sense of solidarity to me even though we have never met. I would also like to thank Kim who was the perfect 'relay' between us whenever it was necessary.

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    Thank you for explaining it all so well.

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - 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

    Thank you very much for all your help.

    Client testimonial about Emma Neale - Family

    Thanks again for all your amazing help over the case – you helped me so much at a time that was probably the most stressful I’ve had in my life (which for the things in my background is saying something). My very best to you and your team.

    Client testimonial about Jenny Carter - 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

    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

    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

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