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Cohabitation Agreements

Living Together

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - 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

    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

    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

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

    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

    To Elspeth, Just to say thanks for all your help over the last 6 months. If it wasn't for you I would have just given up. I really appreciate all the work you put in to this and your constant reassurance that it was the right thing to do.

    Client testimonial about Elspeth Thomson - 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Mary Shaw - Family

    You have been superb.

    Client testimonial about Lucy Mead - Family

    Thank you so much for all you have done for me……it has been great having you on my side. I couldn’t have wished for a better lawyer…..and I will certainly keep your name and that of David Grays…..if I ever needed a lawyer again, for whatever reason (your advice) has made a huge difference to my own well-being, and I thank you very much.

    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

    We would like to take this opportunity to offer our many thanks for all the help and advice you gave us.

    Client testimonial about Sukhi Patter - 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

    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

    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

    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

    Fantastic news on my decree absolute, thanks for all your help and patience, you have been brilliant.

    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

    I wish to thank you, Mary and Cliff for your kindness and professional management of what seemed to me, at the beginning of the proceedings, to be a terrifying minefield.

    Client testimonial about Cliff Veitch and Mary Shaw

    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

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

    Client testimonial about Gael Phillips - 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Thank you for explaining it all so well.

    Client testimonial about Louise Law - Family

    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

    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 want to thank you for all the help you have given me during this very stressful time, please know your professionalism and genuine caring has helped me enormously and I am very grateful to you.

    Client testimonial about Sukhi Patter - Family

    Many thanks for all the sound advice and for handling a very tricky situation so well.

    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

    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

    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

    Thanks again for your time, approach & actions. After we left he said that you were the first person who'd questioned him, listened & treat him like he was of worth. Be encouraged & encourage others.

    Client testimonial about Sukhi Patter - 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

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

    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
  • Legal Assistant