First, to set the scene. You are young and in love. You have been desperately saving for months, probably years, so that you can buy your first home together. This is new and exciting; thoughts of a future in which things do not work out are not even within your contemplation. Surely, such considerations are pessimistic and unromantic?
Arguably, that may be so. However, more and more couples are choosing to cohabit and purchase their first home together before getting married. Many couples decide not to marry at all. Unbeknownst to many, cohabiting couples are not afforded the same rights and protections as married couples if their relationship breaks down.
Cohabiting couples are treated almost as strangers under the law and so it is imperative for cohabiting couples to arm themselves with the knowledge of where they stand legally and financially when contemplating purchasing their first home together. In a time in which it is increasingly common for family members to provide financial assistance for the purchase of a first home, it is also important to ensure that financial contributions from loved ones are protected from the outset.
So, as you commence the journey of purchasing your first home together, you can protect yourself by:
- Entering into a Declaration of Trust to protect your interest (and any third party interests) in your new home.
- Entering into a Cohabitation Agreement setting out how your finances will be dealt with during your relationship and in the event of separation.
- Making a Will to ensure that your estate passes as you wish in the event of your death.
- Taking specialist legal advice.
Taylor Walton’s experienced family lawyers can provide specialist advice concerning the rights of cohabitants, and also disputes concerning children and matrimonial issues. If you or someone you know would value further information on this subject, please contact Amelia Scippo of Taylor Walton LLP on 01582 714617 or email email@example.com to arrange an appointment.