If you are thinking of living with your partner you should think about entering into a Cohabitation Agreement in advance to clearly document your intentions if your relationship breaks down and to regulate any arrangements for mutual financial support and payment of debts. The agreement can also set out who pays what, how responsibilities are shared in running the home, whether you open a joint account, or keep separate accounts, whether either of you will support the other if she or he gives up work and for how long.
With a Cohabitation Agreement you can plan ahead to deal with scenarios, such as long-term illness or death.
The agreement can state which of you has first option to purchase the others share of a jointly owned home if you separate.
A Cohabitation agreement can help towards a harmonious home life. The majority of disputes occur because of lack of evidence of a couple's intentions and it can be costly, time consuming and stressful to seek a declaration of intention from the court.
The Law Commission is looking into whether the law should give greater financial protection to couples who live together, any changes, are not likely to be completed until at least 2009
This article is a guide only and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.