Protecting Financial Interests and Property Rights for Unmarried Couples

Beth Evans, Partner and Family Solicitor at WSP Solicitors
Unmarried couples do not have the same rights as married couples on separation, no matter how long their relationship has been. For example, as the law currently stands, an unmarried partner is not able to claim a share of their ex partner’s income or pension on separation and the Court is not able to redistribute property and capital assets between separating partners in the same way as is possible when the parties have been married. Court proceedings relating to the division of property and financial assets between separating couples can be both complex and expensive.

 

To protect financial interests and property rights should they separate, cohabiting unmarried couples may choose to enter into a cohabitation agreement. Such an agreement can clearly set out what the parties intend with regards to the property and other assets which each party brings to the relationship as well as any property, assets or liabilities which are jointly acquired during the relationship. It can also set out the percentages which each person owns in a property and include provisions for how the property will be valued should the couple decide to separate, when it should be sold and the terms on which either party could have the option of buying out the other’s share.

 

A cohabitation agreement can also set out how the couple intend to manage their finances during the relationship, for example how bank accounts, insurance policies and credit cards will be run, how income and expenses will be utilised and any impact of these arrangements on their respective interests in property or other assets to which they are contributing.

 

By entering into such an agreement, cohabiting couples can decide how property, assets and liabilities will be divided should they separate rather than relying on the Court to resolve the issues.

 

By making a Will couples can make clear their intentions with regards to their property and other assets in the event of their death and provide for their partner in ways that the law may not if there is no Will.

 

For further information and advice on protecting your financial interests please call Beth Evans on 01453 541940 or email bethevans@wspsolicitors.com.

 

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