If you’re buying a home with an unmarried partner and getting financial help from the Bank of Mum and Dad, it is essential to understand the legal and financial effects of living together, and how to protect the money provided by your family.
You should protect your financial interest in the property so that you will not lose your capital should the relationship come to an end.
Living together as an unmarried couple, known in law as Co-habiting, does not offer you the same legal rights or status as if you were a married couple. The concept of Common Law Spouse is simply not recognised in English law (legal system in England and Wales). This can lead to uncertainty about how the household finances will work and what will happen should the relationship end.
How to Protect Your Investment from Mum and Dad
Pre-nuptial Agreements and Co-habitation Agreements both offer benefits.
Pre-nuptial Agreements are more popular with couples who intend to get married and Co-habitation Agreements are more popular with couples who are not planning to get married.
Pre-nuptial Agreements (Prenups) are not currently legally binding but in one of our recent Divorce cases the Court ordered that the wife, our client, should receive the payment that was included in the Prenup. This is not the only case where a Court has considered the content of a Prenup before making its decision in a divorce case. See Prenup Upheld in Divorce Court
Co-habitation Agreements, also called Living Together Agreements, are popular amongst unmarried couples who want some certainty over their financial arrangements. Co-habitation Agreements can formalise your rights over the home for the period of living together and what should happen in the event of a break-up.
A Co-habitation Agreement can be put in place either before you move in or after you start living together and can cover issues such as:
• What should happen to the home in the event of a break-up
• How the mortgage and household expenses are to be paid
• Arrangements for any children in the event that the relationship ends
Once the Co-habitation Agreement has been properly drawn up and signed by both parties the provisions will form a contract between you and so protect your investment.
If you buying a property together it is important to get advice from a Family Law Solicitor who can advise you on the different types of Co-ownership, and how to define your share if you are contributing different amounts to the purchase.
Our Family Law Solicitors can advise you on this and provide legal advice on a Declaration a Trust over the money that you have invested in the property to add a further level of protection.
Co-op Legal Services offer a fixed fee Pre-nuptial, Post-nuptial or Co-habitation Agreement for £750 +VAT (£900 including VAT).
Once we have provided you with a written quote, that fee will not change.