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Home » Family Law Services » Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation Agreements

Sharing a property with your partner can bring with it complexities, especially if the property is owned under both names

Cohabitation Agreement Solicitors

Separating from your partner when sharing a property can lead to lengthy disputes, especially if the property is owned under both names and shares in the equity have not been expressly declared. Without a defined agreement in place, you might be unsure of which assets you are legally entitled to.

To safeguard against this, we strongly advise drawing up a cohabitation agreement.

In the event of a separation, a cohabitation agreement ensures that you and your partner are entitled to what was agreed upon — without unnecessary costs and legal disputes.

It is important to note that cohabitation agreements are not inherently legally binding. However, when crafted and executed properly, they can have significant persuasive weight in a court of law.

How Goodwins Can Help

At Goodwins Family Law, our specialists are highly experienced in cohabitation agreements. Here are just some of the ways we can help:

Understanding the Agreement

We ensure that all cohabitation agreements are clear, helping both partners understand the consequences of future separation.

Tailored Service

Whether managing high net worth assets or seeking a simple agreement for peace of mind, our legal team will provide a service tailored to your specific circumstances, and steer you towards a favourable result.

Holistic Approach

We look beyond the agreement itself, advising on additional measures, such as property rights, parental responsibilities and financial provisions that reflect your unique situation.

Future Planning

We don’t just focus on the present — we help in safeguarding your interests down the line, considering long-term financial stability.

What Does A Cohabitation Agreement Typically Cover?

A cohabitation agreement will typically cover:

  • Each partner’s contribution to the rent or mortgage
  • How bills will be divided
  • What each partner is entitled to in the event that the relationships ends

Cohabitation vs Marriage

Unlike marriage, cohabiting does not automatically grant legal rights to either partner regarding shared assets or financial support. This distinction makes the cohabitation agreement a hugely important tool to clearly establish the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Declaration of Trust

To aid the process of a cohabitation agreement, we also recommend and can help with creating a Declaration of Trust.

Also known as a Trust Deed, a Declaration of Trust is a legally binding document that explicitly outlines the percentage share of a jointly owned property. This declaration is especially relevant for couples who are not married but are purchasing a home together or have significant financial investments.

The Declaration of Trust provides absolute clarity on each cohabitant’s share of the property, which then assists in establishing the cohabitation agreement.

Crafting Your Cohabitation Agreement

When The Agreement Should Be Made
Ideally, a cohabitation agreement should be put in place as soon as cohabitation begins, or even prior. This ensures that all matters are discussed and agreed upon before potential conflicts arise.

Inclusions and Exclusions
A cohabitation agreement can detail the division of property, savings, pensions and even pets. It’s equally important to be clear on what will not be included to prevent ambiguities.

Documents to Provide
When consulting with your solicitors, it’s beneficial to provide us with financial documents, proof of property ownership and any pre-existing agreements.


While a well-drafted cohabitation agreement aims to prevent disputes over property and finances, understanding the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) is still important. This piece of legislation offers a legal framework that comes into play when disputes over property ownership cannot be resolved amicably.

However, the objective of a cohabitation agreement is to provide such a clear and comprehensive outline of each partner’s rights and responsibilities that the invocation of TOLATA becomes unnecessary.

In the unlikely event that a dispute does arise and cannot be settled through the terms set out in the cohabitation agreement, Goodwins Family Law Solicitors is well-equipped to navigate TOLATA, ensuring that your rights are robustly protected.

We are based in Harrow, London but serve the entire UK. To find out more about cohabitation agreements, contact our team today.

Cohabitation Agreements FAQs

How long has Goodwins been providing cohabitation agreements?

Goodwins has been providing its cohabitation agreements service since 1993.

Will I have my own dedicated solicitor to deal with my case?

Yes, you will be assigned a specialist who deals with cohabitation agreements & disputes.

Do you offer fixed fee consultations for cohabitation agreements?

Yes, we offer fixed fee consultations where we will give advice on how to proceed with your case, highlighting all options available to you and the costs involved.

Will my enquiry be treated confidentially?

Yes, we will deal with your enquiry with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity, ensuring that everything is kept confidential.

How will I communicate with my solicitor for cohabitation agreements?

Your solicitor can be contacted via phone or email. We also offer video calls. Alternatively, you can visit your solicitor at our office.

Where is the Goodwins office and how can I visit it?

Our office is located in Middlesex and is available to visit Monday-Friday 9am-5:30pm.

Are cohabitation agreements legally binding?

Yes, cohabitation agreements are legally binding contracts.

What are the three types of cohabitation?

Cohabitation can occur in three main forms: as an alternative to marriage, as a precursor to marriage and as an alternative to being single.

Meet the Cohabitation Agreements team

Watch our video to gain an insight into the inner workings of Goodwins Family Law Solicitors and how we can help you.

Cohabitation Agreements Process

Consistency, quality and sensitivity are the key elements of our approach to each and every case. Our expert team will deal with your situation with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity, whilst striving to reach the best possible outcome.

Get in touch with our legal team via form, email or phone
Our dedicated law secretaries will review the enquiry and then will assign it to the most appropriate Solicitor based on the requirements.
We'll arrange a fixed-fee appointment to discuss your case
This can be done over a video call, face-to-face meeting at our offices or over the telephone - whatever works best for you!
Initial consultation
During this consultation, we'll take time to get to know you and your case and make some initial recommendations on how we can work with you for the best outcome.
You decide if you'd like to proceed with us representing you
There's no pressure across this period, we'll give you space to consider all options and make the right decision for you.
Retainer agreed and the case is started
There'll be some paperwork to complete at this stage, but we'll be on hand to support you through this process.

Why choose Goodwins for Cohabitation Agreements?

Divorce and family law specialists
A leading London based firm
Members of The Law Society
Established over 30 years
Excellent client satisfaction rate
Experts in cohabitation agreements & disputes
International cases undertaken
Highly competitive fee structure
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Goodwins Family Law Solicitors is a registered company in England. © Goodwins Family Law Solicitors 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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