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Living Together Agreements

Many people live together without being married. Sometimes a marriage might eventually occur, but for rather more people that is not the case. There are all sorts of arrangements, and what is appropriate in one situation will not be appropriate in the next. There are however several standard elements. In general it can be very unwise to enter into any but the most short term arrangements, without some documentation to identify and record the intentions of the parties.

When people marry, the law of marriage and divorce set out in great details many aspects of living together. It is fine to live without the benefit of a marriage licence (accepting entirely that this could not always be possible anyway), but the need for 'house regulations' remains.

There are typically at least the following elements in any arrangement

  1. The title to any land ('whose name is on the deeds')
  2. A deed of trust. A document setting out arrangements for the house.
  3. A Cohabitation contract or agreement. This sets out the many arrangements between the parties for day to day living
  4. Wills.
  5. A perental responsibility agreement.

Each of these documents can vary from the very simple, to some which are really quite complicated. Some are more important than others. Equally, having taken the freedom to design a relationship of your choice, standard documents for standard relationships may well need amendment. You can therefore spend as much, or as little as you wish. We do however urge those in such arrangements to take the time to make such an agreement. Far, far, too often we see relationship breakdowns which are made very much more expensive because of the absence of such agreements.

Important: Please note that our law-bytes are retained for archival purposes only. The law changes, and these notes are often, now, out of date. You must take direct advice on your own personal situation and the law as it currently stands.
All information on this site is in general and summary form only. The content of any page on this site may be out of date and or incomplete, and you should not not rely directly upon it. Take direct professional legal advice which reflects your own particular situation.
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Copyright and Database Rights: David Swarbrick 2012
18 October 2013 171 18 October 2013