Whether you decide to rent a property or buy your first home together, there are some sensible steps you can take to legally protect all parties for the future.
These include cohabitation agreements that are designed to protect your individual finances if you eventually separate, and acquiring legally recognised parental rights and responsibility over any step-children who will be living in the property too.
If you are buying a house together, you should also think about writing a Will so there is no doubt over your partner’s inheritance or ownership of the property if something happens to you.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
You can think of a cohabitation agreement as being similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that it is for when you move in with your partner, rather than when you get married.
In fact, because marriage provides certain legal protections to both parties, a cohabitation agreement is often used by unmarried cohabiting couples to protect their individual finances and interests in an amicable way in case the relationship breaks down later.
While a cohabitation agreement is not legally binding in English law, our family law solicitors in Leeds, York and Sheffield can help to draw up a document that meets all of the usual needs of a legal contract, so it is more likely to be enforced by the courts.
Cohabiting with a partner with children
If you decide to move in with a partner with children from a previous relationship, you need to know your legal rights and responsibilities, as you do not automatically become their step-parent in the eyes of the law.
Our family law solicitors in Leeds, Sheffield and York can help you to understand where you stand legally as a parent or guardian to those children, and how to go about gaining direct legal rights and responsibility for them.
This is important because without doing so, even after many years of living together as a family unit, you may not automatically have any legal right to take care of the children if something happens to your partner.
Speak to Lupton Fawcett about cohabitation issues
If you’re interested in drawing up a cohabitation agreement, writing a Will to protect your shared property, or gaining legal guardianship over step-children, speak to our family law solicitors in York, Leeds and Sheffield.
We have a wealth of experience in these and other areas of cohabitation law, and are ready to help you understand the issues you might face when you move in with a partner for the first time.
All enquiries are confidential – so if you want to ask us anything before you bring up the subject with your partner, we’d be happy to help you in the very early stages too.
You can contact the Lupton Fawcett family law legal team on 0330 404 6390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today and we will reply to your enquiry as soon as possible.