Cohabitation disputes can be expensive and stressful, but a properly prepared Cohabitation Agreement can help prevent disputes in the future



People often think that couples who have been living together for a long period of time are “common law” husbands and wives and have the same rights as those couples that are married.

This in not the case and the Court will not take into account the length of time you have lived together or even if one party has contributed to the household by raising children and being responsible for the running of the family home.

The Law refers to “living together” relationships as Cohabitation; people living together are called “Cohabitees”

Cohabitation disputes can be expensive and stressful.  To try to avoid such a situation arising and the costs of court proceedings, you can obtain a Cohabitation Agreement.

AST Hampsons Family team can advise you on the cohabitation issues you should consider, where you stand legally and how a Court would view your arrangements.

A Cohabitation Agreement can record details such as:

  • Who owns what at the start of a relationship
  • How any property acquired during the relationship will be owned – will this be as Joint Tenants or as Tenants in Common?
  • Who will be responsible for mortgage and other property costs
  • How will equity in the property be divided
  • Who will be responsible for debts

Cohabitation Agreements can be particularly important if you are in the process of or have already purchased a property with another individual and are contributing different amounts to the mortgage or household bills and can help prevent a dispute about ownership in the future.

In the event that your relationship breaks down without the benefit of a Cohabitation Agreement and there is a dispute as to property,  we can advise you through the process of establishing ownership in a cost effective and constructive manner. 

We will advise you in relation to such things as:-

  • How you can demonstrate ownership of any disputed property
  • Whether you or your former partner can be forced to sell any disputed property or whether this can be retained by one or the other of you
  • The impact of there being children of your relationship

Our skilled team based in Rochdale and Bury can assist you in all circumstances whether this be by preparing a Cohabitation Agreement tailored to meet your individual needs and circumstances or advising you following the breakdown of your living together relationship.

For advice and guidance, please call our team on 0161 763 1000 (Bury) or 01706 653322 (Rochdale), or email us on [email protected] to arrange a free initial chat with Jennifer Worcester or Shakeela Bi.

Alternatively fill in our "Ask us a question" form and one of our specialist team will come back to you as soon as possible.


Our team of Cohabitation specialists

Partner - Head of Family Department