Below the hourly rates charged by many law firms, Cooperative Legal Services charges a fixed fee of $660.00, including VAT, for the development of a union. Couples must again pay the legal advice fees of the second partner. Couples who marry or make a life partnership often do not think about how their legal obligations will change. We can prepare agreements to give them certainty of their financial rights and obligations in the event of a breakdown in the relationship. Note that the situation in Scotland, where cohabitation and property rights are defined by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006, is different. The property before the joint move – if a partner owns property, can agree to a cohabitation agreement that is held separately and prevent the other partner from being entitled to it. However, if the partner who does not have the property contributes to the mortgage or is doing renovation work, he may be entitled to the property in the future, so this is something you should pay attention to. In the absence of a cohabitation agreement, your partner, if you own the property, can claim “beneficial interest rates” on your property and, if successful, your partner has the right: if you decide to separate after a long period, unions can save you a lot of time and money. In the absence of a cohabitation agreement, litigation over individuals who own or have a share of an asset could result in lengthy and costly legal proceedings. In addition, if you do not succeed in the litigation, you may be required to cover all the costs of the winner`s trial. “As a general rule, cohabitation agreements are made between a couple who do not marry or enter into a registered partnership,” says Renato Labi of the hughes Fowler Carruthers family and divorce firm.
However, cohabitation still cannot be binding in court, says Frank Prior, a partner at Paris Smith Solicitors. “They [the agreements] can be valid and legally binding, provided they have been concluded with each of the parties that have received separate and independent advice on the effects; if each party has provided the other with full and open financial disclosure and there is no evidence that any of the parties are under pressure to enter into such an agreement,” says Ayen Soyer, partner at Wilsons Solicitors in the family team. More couples than ever live together before marriage or decide not to get married at all.