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Advice on cohabitation agreements for farming families

View profile for Greg Cross
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It is very common these days for parents to support their children in buying their first home and the “bank of Mum and Dad” comes to the rescue.

Often this entails children buying a property with a partner or buying a property and having a partner move in and as unromantic as it may be, thoughts turn to how that investment might be protected in the event of relationship breakdown. This is a common occurrence in the agricultural sector. Many farming families assist their children in securing first homes and thoughts turn to protecting the financial assistance provided. How might that be achieved?

Cohabitation Agreements

A cohabitation agreement records the arrangements between two or more persons who have agreed to live with one another. It records each other’s rights and responsibilities in relation to the property and ensures “no surprises” down the line. It can make clear who owns what, who pays what, and ultimately avoid a lot of stress, heartache and cost of litigation in the event of a separation.

A cohabitation agreement is a document that clearly records a cohabiting couples intentions about the legal and beneficial ownership of the property they occupy together. When a cohabiting couple don’t have a clear document setting out their rights, they can often run up large legal fees in arguing over their respective interests in the property. A Cohabitation Agreement can avoid this.

A Cohabitation Agreement will record the legal and beneficial ownership of the property, and set out clearly what is to happen at the end of cohabitation. It will include clauses that regulate who pays for what, how the bills are to be split, who owns what and importantly, how the proceeds of sale are to be divided in the event of separation. Having these conversations at an early stage and recording the agreements in a document can avoid the acrimony, cost and uncertainty of litigation down the line.

It is advisable to enter into a cohabitation agreement on completion of the purchase of the property, so that intentions are very clear at the outset, but not essential. A Cohabitation Agreement can be entered into after purchase and during cohabitation. The essential ingredients to ensure a Cohabitation carries the weight needed in law is to have complete transparency, to be clear, and for both to enter into it freely without pressure or duress.

If you are purchasing a property and intending to live with a partner and want to protect your interests or are thinking of assisting a loved one in doing so, consider a Cohabitation Agreement. Contact Greg Cross, Director and family law solicitor at Crombie Wilkinson on 01653 600070 to obtain advice on Cohabitation Agreements.