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Your Expert Guides in Property Transactions

Your Expert Guides in Property Transactions

#The Role and Importance of Conveyancing Solicitors

Embarking on the journey of buying or selling a property is a significant milestone. Conveyancing lawyers play a pivotal role in your property journey from offer to ownership. Their role is multifaceted, encompassing legal expertise, meticulous paperwork, and a keen eye for potential pitfalls.

The Role of Conveyancers:

1. Legal Expertise

Conveyancers are the legal experts who deal with property transactions. They specialise in property law, handling complex legal documentation and safeguarding your interests.

2. Conveyancing Searches

Before you commit to a property, conveyancers conduct comprehensive searches of the title and environs so that you are aware of any potential issues before you become the owner. This ensures you are able to make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase the property. Wherever possible, your conveyancer will seek to resolve any issues identified before contacts are exchanged.

3. Contract Crafting

Whether you are buying or selling, conveyancers navigate the intricate language of property contracts, negotiate terms, and ensure that the final agreement is a reflection of your wishes and protects your interests.

4. Financial Oversight

Property transactions involve significant financial transactions. Conveyancers manage payments, coordinate deposits, and ensure a transparent and secure financial process.

The Importance of Conveyancers:

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned property investor, conveyancers minimise risks, safeguard you against financial pitfalls, protect you from legal complications in the future, and secure a smooth property transaction.

At Hill and Company Solicitors, our conveyancing experts go above and beyond to provide you with comprehensive legal support throughout your property journey. If you are ready to unlock the doors to your dream property, contact us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Let our legal team guide you through a successful property transaction.

First-Time Homebuyers: A Guide to Conveyancing

First-Time Homebuyers: A Guide to Conveyancing

#An Overview of the Conveyancing Process

It’s an exciting journey to become a homeowner. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, the world of real estate and conveyancing may seem complex, but we’re here to guide you through the process. Let’s explore the conveyancing process.

Step 1: Instruction

The process begins when you instruct a firm of solicitors to represent you and to handle all the legal aspects of the property transaction on your behalf.

Step 2: Contract Review

Once your conveyancer receives the contract and title deeds from the seller’s solicitor, they will examine them to ensure they are in order, that your interests are protected, and to identify any questions that need to be raised.

Step 3: Property and Conveyancing Searches

Searches are carries out to unearth any potential issues that might affect the property. These include local authority searches, environmental searches, and water and drainage searches. They provide valuable information about the property and may give rise to further questions that need to be raised with the sellers.

Step 4: Surveys and Valuations

Property surveys and valuations are crucial to help understand the property’s condition and market value, and to help identify any hidden issues. You will be advised to commission a survey. Once you receive the report, you conveyancer will review the section regarding the legal implications and make any relevant further enquiries.

Step 5: Enquiries

Your conveyancer will raise enquiries with the seller’s conveyancer regarding the property, and the seller’s solicitor will provide responses. Your conveyancer will then report to you to ensure that you fully understand all of the aspects and quirks of the property you are buying.

Step 6: Signing the Contract and Transfer Deed

Once you are satisfied with the property and the contract terms, you will sign the physical Contract and Transfer Deed in preparation for Exchange of Contacts. Your agreement to purchase the property is not yet legally binding and either party can still withdraw from the purchase at any time. Contracts only become legally binding once they have been exchanged (see step 7).  You will also agree a date for completion at this time.

Step 7: Exchange of Contract

After both parties have signed their copies of the Contract and Transfer Deed, your conveyancer will exchange contracts with the seller’s conveyancer. This step makes the agreement legally binding. It is at this stage that the deposit becomes payable. The standard deposit is 10% of the purchase price, and it is usually transferred to the seller’s conveyancer to hold until legal completion has taken place (usually a week or two after exchange of contracts).

You commit to purchase the property in the condition it is in at the time that the contracts are exchanged. It is therefore wise to arrange to inspect the property on the morning of the proposed exchange date to ensure that no damage has been inflicted on the property since the last time you viewed it.

Once contracts have been exchanged, you must complete the purchase even if the property is damaged between the date that contracts are exchanged and the date that legal completion takes place. You should therefore put buildings insurance in place from the date of exchange of contracts.

If you do not complete the purchase on the agreed completion date, you will forfeit your 10% deposit and the seller may rescind the contract and remarket the property.

Step 8: Title Transfer

On the agreed-upon completion date, the legal ownership of the property will be transferred from the seller to you. Your conveyancer will oversee this process to ensure that it occurs smoothly and in compliance with all legal requirements. It is at this point that the balance of the purchase price is transferred to the seller’s conveyancer.

Step 9: Stamp Duty Land Tax

Your conveyancing solicitor will then handle the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax on your behalf to ensure that it’s accurately calculated, the tax return is correctly completed, and the tax is paid to HM Revenue and Customs.

Step 10: Land Registry

The final step involves registering you as the new owner of the property at the Land Registry. This ensures that your legal ownership is officially recorded. Your conveyancer will help handle the registration.

As a first-time homebuyer, it is vital to understand the conveyancing process, which can safeguard your interests and ensure your property purchase is legally sound. If you have any questions or require expert legal guidance on your journey to homeownership, our team at Hill and Company Solicitors is here to assist you. Don’t hesitate to contact us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Conveyancing 101: Understanding the Basics

Conveyancing 101: Understanding the Basics

#Introduction to Conveyancing

Are you considering buying or selling a property? Understanding the fundamentals of conveyancing is essential, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. So, what exactly is conveyancing, and why is it important?

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership from one party to another. The conveyancing process starts once an offer to purchase a property has been accepted, and ends when the transfer of ownership has been registered with HM Land Registry. Whether you are buying or selling a property, you will need to instruct a conveyancer to advise you, oversee the legal requirements, and ensure the smooth running of the transaction.

The Role of Conveyancers

Conveyancers are solicitors or lawyers specialising in conveying the legal and equitable title in property and/or land from one party to another. They play a pivotal role in this process. They act as intermediaries between the buyer and seller, to protect their client’s interests. Conveyancers manage the various legal aspects of property transfer, including the preparation of the contract and transfer deed, reviewing and advising on the title and property searches, overseeing the financial transactions, transferring the title, and registering the change of ownership with HM Land Registry.

The conveyancing process offers legal safeguards for both buyers and sellers. It ensures all legal obligations are met, reducing the risk of complications, disputes, or even fraud. Conveyancers ensure the buyer is getting the property with a clean title and won’t inherit any undisclosed debts or liabilities. When acting for the seller, they ensure that the seller receives all of the net proceeds of sale that they are entitled to.

Understanding the basics of conveyancing is the first step to ensuring a smooth property transfer. In our next post, we will explore the conveyancing process. Stay tuned for more insights on this essential aspect of real estate. If you have questions about conveyancing, feel free to reach out to our team on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for expert guidance.

Home Sweet Home: Buying Property as Cohabiting Couples

Home Sweet Home: Buying Property as Cohabiting Couples

#Legal aspects of purchasing a home together as an unmarried couple

It’s a significant step for you and your partner to make the exciting decision to buy a property and create a shared space where you can build your lives together. In previous articles, we discussed the property investment considerations for cohabiting couples. When considering the financial benefits of buying a property together, the legal aspects are essential to consider as well, especially where couples are cohabiting but are not married. What legal considerations should you keep in mind when purchasing a home as a cohabiting couple?

  1. Legal Ownership
    Determine how the property will be legally held, either as joint tenants, or tenants in common. Joint tenancy means both partners own the property jointly, with no distinguishable share, while tenants-in-common have a defined share of the property. This share could be equal (50:50) or in unequal percentages. Joint tenants cannot pass their interest in the property through their Will, but tenants-in-common can.
  1. Mortgage Arrangements
    How is the mortgage to be discharged monthly? Is each person paying an equal amount or is this to be paid in unequal shares? If the split is unequal, is this fair or appropriate? Should the person paying a larger portion of the outgoings be entitled to a larger portion of the equity in the property in compensation?
  1. Tax Implications
    Getting specialist financial advice on the impact of buying a property and any tax considerations is important. Will you need to pay the higher rate of Stamp Duty? Will your estate be liable to Inheritance Tax when you die? Will any Capital Gains Tax be payable when you sell the property?
  1. Financial Contributions
    Define clearly both partners’ contributions and how the expenses are to be shared. As set out above, where expenses are not shared equally, is it agreed that the person who is contributing more should be compensated in the percentage of property ownership? Entering into a Cohabitation Agreement can help reduce any conflict or dispute in the future.
  1. Exit Strategy
    No one likes to think about the end, but it’s crucial. Consider what happens to the property if the relationship ends or, if one partner passes away. A legal document like a Will or a Cohabitation Agreement can provide clarity, and particularly where you are not married, ensure that each person’s interests are protected.
  1. Legal Protection
    Unlike married couples, cohabiting unmarried couples do not enjoy the same legal rights. To protect your interest, consult with a solicitor who specialises in family law and consider if a Cohabitation Agreement is right for you.

When it comes to buying property as an unmarried couple, Cohabitation Agreements can play a crucial role in providing legal protection and clarity. If you’re considering purchasing a property together and want to explore how a Cohabitation Agreement can safeguard your interests, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our team at Hill and Company Solicitors is here to guide you.

Property Ownership Considerations for Cohabiting Couples

Property Ownership Considerations for Cohabiting Couples

#Suggestions for cohabitating couples

Are you and your partner considering taking the leap into owning a property together? While this journey can be exciting, it’s essential to consider the legal aspects that come into play, especially when you’re not married. Here are some property ownership considerations for cohabiting couples:

  1. Shared Goals and Objectives
    Consider long-term goals, not only relationship goals like getting engaged and married, but financial goals and what you each consider will happen with this property in the future. Ensure both partners’ long-term goals are aligning is key.
  1. Legal Ownership
    Deciding on how the property will be legally held is a very important consideration. Where individuals purchase a property together, there are two ways in which this property can be held: as Joint Tenants, or Tenants in Common. As Joint Tenants, you and your co-owner do not own specific shares in the property, regardless of the financial contributions each of you have made towards the purchase price, you both own the whole of the property. If one of you dies, they cannot pass their interest to anyone else through their Will, the surviving owner automatically becomes solely entitled to the whole of the property. Alternatively, you can opt to own the property as Tenants in Common. This means that you and your co-owner each own a distinguishable share of the property. These shares can be equal, i.e. 50% / 50% or can be unequal, i.e. 75% / 25%, to take into account the difference in the financial contributions made when buying the property. This distinction is important has it will have a significant impact on the way the property will be dealt with on sale or death.
  1. Financial Contributions
    Discuss how to handle the financial aspects, including the initial deposit, mortgage payments, ongoing expenses, and how renovation and repair works will be paid for. Be clear about each partner’s financial responsibilities and contributions.
  1. Legal Considerations
    Unmarried cohabiting couples do not enjoy the same legal protections as married couples. It’s advisable to explore legal safeguards, such as cohabitation agreements, which can clarify your legal rights and responsibilities in the property. Seek legal advice or guidance from our solicitor specialist family law team.
  1. Exit Strategies
    While it’s not a pleasant topic, it’s crucial to address what happens if the relationship ends or if one partner passes away. Having an exit strategy in place can save you from legal complications down the road.

Investing in property as a cohabiting couple can be a smart financial move, but it’s important to consider carefully beforehand. Seek legal guidance to ensure your property is protected and beneficial for both of you. To learn more about property ownership for cohabiting couples, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for expert advice. Our team at Hill and Company Solicitors is here to assist you.

Financial Protection in Cohabitation

Financial Protection in Cohabitation

#How Cohabitation Agreements help with finances

Cohabitation isn’t just about love; it involves navigating a shared financial journey. Financial matters can be a significant source of joy and strife in relationships. For cohabiting couples, financial aspects become even more pronounced and are often the source of friction. Today, we'll explore the role of cohabitation agreements in safeguarding finances.

A Recap of Cohabitation Agreements

Before diving into the financial aspects, let’s recap what cohabitation agreements are. Cohabitation agreements are legal documents for couples who are not married, but are either living together, or looking to live together in the future. The agreement can cover areas such as financial arrangements, property ownership, and even considerations for children; it serves as a vital tool to safeguard both partners’ interest in the relationship and navigate unexpected challenges.

Financial Benefits of Cohabitation Agreements

1. Financial Expectations: Cohabitation agreements promote financial transparency. Couples can clearly outline how they plan to share expenses such as rent or mortgage repayments, utilities, groceries, etc. By addressing these issues at the outset, misunderstandings and disputes can be minimised.

2. Individual Assets Protection: One of the important features of cohabitation agreements is the protection of individual assets. The agreement can ensure that assets brought into the relationship remain with their respective owners and free from potential claims from the other person. This is essential to safeguard personal wealth, especially in the event of separation.

3. Future Planning: Cohabitation agreements are not only about the present, but also about financial planning for the future. This can include discussions on savings, investments, and how future property should be held.

Cohabitation agreements address financial matters clearly for couples. They outline not only the financial responsibilities but also what would happen in case of separation or in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

While it may not be romantic or it may seem unreasonable to discuss the end of a relationship before it even begins, it’s easier to create a legal document as a preventive measure when a relationship is strong. Cohabitation agreements are an investment in mutual trust and a commitment to handle potential challenges.

Financial protection in cohabitation is not a topic to be taken lightly. If you’re considering cohabitation and wish to learn more about legal aspects, our expert team at Hill and Company Solicitors is here to assist you. Feel free to contact us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Date Dilemma: Split or Share?

The Date Dilemma: Split or Share?

#Money issues of cohabiting couples

Money talk in relationships can be contentious. In the world of dating, there is one age-old question: Should couples split the bill on dates, or is it more about sharing the costs? The answer is far from straightforward, and it often reflects cultural, generational, and individual perspectives. While we navigate through the date dilemma, we will also explore how it relates to the challenges that cohabiting couples face.

The Great Debate: Who Should Pay for Dates?

The idea that men should pay for dates is deeply rooted in traditional and cultural norms. But there’s also a long-standing practice where the person who initiated the date covers the expenses. However, some argue that this approach reinforces gender stereotypes and that couples should take a more equal approach to dating expenses.

The Modern Dilemma: Splitting the Bill

The act of splitting the bill has become a topic of considerable discussion in the modern world. Some view it as a matter of equality and appreciate when their date offers to share the costs. In these situations, it’s not about who pays but that both parties contribute to the relationship. Communication is the key; couples who are comfortable discussing their financial expectations are more likely to nurture a healthy relationship.

Cohabiting Couples and Financial Realities

The question of who pays for dates is just a prelude to broader financial discussions that come with living together. For cohabiting couples, rent, utilities, groceries, and other expenses all come into play. While some couples still follow a more traditional approach, with one partner primarily managing finances, the realities of living together often result in a more equitable sharing of financial responsibilities. Because of the substantial costs of living together, a concerted effort to manage expenses is required.

Cohabitation Agreement: Protecting Both Partners

Cohabiting couples, unlike married couples, often maintain financial independence, leading to potential challenges. Money issues can trigger conflicts, especially when unanticipated circumstances arise. To safeguard both partners’ interests, it’s advisable for cohabiting couples to discuss money matters proactively. Creating a cohabitation agreement is one way to address these issues, allowing both partners to outline their expectations, responsibilities, and legal protections.

The date dilemma serves as a starting point for a broader conversation about finances in relationships. It’s essential for couples to have an open communication and find an approach that suits them. For cohabiting couples, cohabitation agreements offer valuable assistance in addressing financial matters. If you’re considering a cohabitation agreement or need legal advice about your financial position, our team at Hill and Company Solicitors is here to assist you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cohabitation Agreements 101: What They Are

Cohabitation Agreements 101: What They Are

#Introduction to Cohabitation Agreements

For couples who decide to share their lives and move in together, it’s an exciting and meaningful step in their journey. In previous articles, we discussed the pros and cons of living together and explored the types of things you should consider before taking this step. One of the things we recommend you consider is a cohabitation agreement.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal document made between couples who are not married, but are either living together, or looking to live together in the future.

The agreement itself can cover areas such as financial arrangements, property ownership, and children while you’re living together, but also what would happen in the event that you separate or if either person becomes seriously ill or dies.

Cohabitation agreements are therefore a great way to safeguard each person’s interests in the relationship and discuss what would happen if you face unexpected challenges.

Why Consider a Cohabitation Agreement?

While a cohabitation agreement is not a requirement, it can be a valuable tool for couples to set out their mutual responsibilities. This is particularly important as many are under the illusion that if a couple lives together long enough, they obtain legal rights equivalent to those of a married couple (known as the “common-law marriage myth”). This is not the case. A cohabitation agreement can therefore reduce misunderstandings and potential conflicts in the future. It offers legal protection for both partners, ensuring each person’s rights and interests are recognised and upheld. It also allows couples to tailor the terms to suit their unique needs and circumstances. A cohabitation agreement can help you navigate potential challenges with confidence.

How does a Cohabitation Agreement Work?

There are 5 key steps in creating a cohabitation agreement.

1. Consultation: Seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in family law to understand the legal implications and options available.

2. Negotiation: Both partners discuss and agree on the terms and conditions of the agreement. This includes property, finances, support, assets, children and more.

3. Drafting: A legal professional will draft an agreement that accurately reflects both partners’ decisions and adheres to the law.

4. Review:  Review the agreement to ensure your intentions and all necessary aspects are covered.

5. Signing: Both partners sign the agreement in the presence of witnesses.

A cohabitation agreement is a valuable legal tool that provides clarity and protection for cohabiting couples. If you’re considering a cohabitation agreement or have questions about your own legal position, our team at Hill and Company Solicitors is here to assist you. Feel free to reach out to us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for expert guidance.

Common-Law Marriage Myth: Are Cohabiting Couples Protected by Common-Law Marriage?

Common-Law Marriage Myth: Are Cohabiting Couples Protected by Common-Law Marriage?

#Legal differences between cohabitation and marriage

“Does living together automatically grant us the legal rights and protections of a married couple?” The short answer is no. There is a common misconception that couples who live together for a longer period of time acquire the same legal rights, or ability to claim against the other person, as a married couple. This is not the case.

The “common-law marriage” myth has been perpetuated for many years with many newspapers and journalist frequently using the term within their publications. In England and Wales, there is no legal position or definition of a “common-law spouse” and there are no automatic rights granted to couples that cohabit.

Understanding the Common-Law Marriage Myth:
Whilst other jurisdictions may recognise and give legal rights to cohabiting couples, it is important to note that common-law marriage is not universally recognised. In England and Wales, “common-law marriage” does not exist.

So, let’s begin by unravelling the myth and clarifying the legal differences between cohabitation and marriage.

Legal Differences:

  1. Legal Rights and Protections
    Married couples enjoy specific legal rights and protections which cohabiting couples may not have. These rights include spousal support, tax benefits, and the ability to claim against the assets of the other person under English Law. Cohabiting couples are not automatically afforded these rights and therefore need to ensure that their position is protected. One way in which cohabiting couples can regulate their obligations is to create a cohabitation agreement.
  1. Property Rights
    Married couples are afforded particular rights and protections in relation to property: for example, whilst the couple remains married, a person will have the right to occupy the matrimonial home even if the property is held legally in their spouse’s sole name. For cohabiting couples, there is no inherent right of occupation and this means that on separation, if you do not have an established interest in the property in which you live, you could legally be excluded from the place you consider home with little to no notice. The position generally in relation to cohabiting couples is therefore more complex than married couples and so it is often wise for them to clearly, and legally, set out their rights and obligations.
  1. Divorce vs. Separation
    Ending a marriage involves divorce proceedings and negotiations about the financial assets of the marriage. This is governed by a single piece of legislation called the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. There is no single piece of legislation which deals with cohabiting couples who separate and therefore the legal issues, and protections – or lack thereof – can be more complicated.

Given the legal differences between cohabitation and marriage, couples may choose to create cohabitation agreements set out their agreement in relation to issues which may otherwise be contentious and discuss what may happen in the event of separation.

The common-law marriage myth often leads to misunderstandings about the legal rights and protections of cohabiting couples. Understanding the legal differences between cohabitation and marriage is crucial for making important decisions about a relationship.

If you want to seek legal guidance regarding cohabitation agreements or family law matters, our legal team at Hill and Company Solicitors is here to assist you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A Checklist before Moving in Together

A Checklist before Moving in Together       

#Things to consider and discuss with your partner

Moving in together is an exciting milestone in a relationship. It’s a step that signifies commitment, shared responsibilities, and the merging of two lives into one household. However, before you take this significant leap, it’s crucial to have a checklist in hand and a discussion with your partner before embarking on this new chapter in your life to ensure a smooth transition.

The Checklist:

  1. Financial Planning
    Money matters can often be a source of tension in cohabiting relationships. It’s better to discuss with your partner if you are renting or buying a place, and how to handle expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, and other bills, before moving in. It is also important to discuss what may happen if either person’s financial position changes in the future.
  1. Household Responsibilities
    To prevent conflicts, clearly define responsibilities, both financial or non-financial, for cooking, cleaning, maintenance, and more. It’s important to discuss expectations before moving in and set out how each person’s contributions will be considered.
  1. Legal Position
    While it may not be the most romantic topic, discussing legal aspects is essential. Understand your legal rights as cohabiting couples. Consider creating a cohabitation agreement which can outline how to handle expenses, responsibilities, and other rights. Who owns the property? Will you buy-in? Paying the mortgage does not mean the property is yours.
  1. Emergency Plans
    It’s wise to plan for unforeseen circumstances. Also, consider discussing emergency plans for unexpected situations and what steps to take if the relationship ends, and what will happen with the property.
  1. Relationship Goals
    Last but not least, take a moment to discuss about relationship goals. Consider long-term plans, such as buying property, getting engaged and married/entering into a civil partnership, and ensure both partners are on the same path.

Moving in together is a significant step in a relationship. By following this checklist, you can start a new chapter with confidence, knowing that you are building a strong and harmonious life together.

If you have any legal questions or need guidance on creating a cohabitation agreement, our legal team at Hill and Company Solicitors is always there to assist you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Is Living Together a Good Idea for Couples?

Is Living Together a Good Idea for Couples?

#Pros and cons of living together 

One of the questions couples often contemplate after dating for a while is, “Should we move in together?” Some couples may wish to spend more time together beyond dating, while others may see it as a way to get to know each other better, viewing it as a trial run for marriage. However, it’s important to remember that living together can make it more challenging to part ways if things don’t go well. Before making the decision to cohabit, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons. It’s not just about sharing closet space and Netflix accounts, but something which can have long-term financial implications. In this article, we will delve into some of the legal aspects of cohabitation.

So, let’s explore this topic.

The Pros:

  1. Shared Moments and Quality Time
    Living together allows couples to spend more time with each other and share everyday moments of their daily lives. Beyond traditional dates, couples can also enjoy quality time at home, which can strengthen their bond and deepen the connections.
  1. Trial Run for Marriage
    Cohabitation can serve as a trial run for marriage. Couples can gain a better understand of each other’s characteristics, habits, and compatibility. It offers a way to test the waters, with a more straightforward exit strategy compared to the complexities of divorce if things don’t work out.
  1. Financial Benefits
    Cost-sharing is one of the immediate advantages of living together. When couples cohabit, rent, utilities, groceries, and other expenses can all be shared, which makes it more cost-effective.


The Cons:

  1. Potential for Disputes  
    Spending more time together can sometimes lead to conflicts. Financial management, household duties and responsibilities may become points of contention among cohabiting couples.
  1. Lack of Independence
    Sharing a living space may mean less personal space, potentially leading to a sense of loss of independence and even boredom. Getting to know each other better may also allow couples to discover the things they may not like about each other.
  1. Lack of Legal Protection
    Couples living together may delay marriage plans as it seems unnecessary. However, cohabiting couples do not enjoy the same legal rights as married couples and Civil Partners. Issues such as property rights and financial obligations require extra attention.

So, what are the legal considerations?

As mentioned earlier, cohabitation is a decision that has potential legal implications. While it may not be romantic, discussions about handling shared expenses, property rights, and other responsibilities can help protect both partners’ interests. One effective way to address these legal concerns is by creating a cohabitation agreement.

Considering moving in with your partner and interested in the idea of cohabitation agreements? If you want to learn more about how they work, and if they could help you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team at Hill and Company Solicitors on 0161 928 3201 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hill and Company Solicitors upgraded on Solicitors.com

Hill and Company Solicitors have upgraded on solicitors.com under the Priority Membership Program.

As one of the oldest firms of solicitors in Altrincham, Hill and Company have been practising from the same offices for over 170 years, providing the local community with all the personal legal services you would expect from a traditional high street firm.

For help with Family Law, moving home, arranging your wills and powers of attorney, probate and estate administration, personal injury, trusts, or tax advice, contact Hill and Company Solicitors, who have built a fantastic reputation caring for clients in Altrincham. 

The upgrade on Solicitors.com will help more clients in Altrincham find the help they need from Hill and Company.

Moving in with Your Significant Other: Cohabitation Agreements

Moving in with your S/O? Consider a cohabitation agreement

 

 

 

Deciding to move in with your partner is an exciting step that many modern couples are choosing to take. Historically, couples would usually cohabit only after marriage. However, societal norms have changed over the last few decades and we are now seeing a marked increase in couples choosing to cohabit. We have also seen that COVID has led to many couples choosing to move in together to avoid restrictions upon spending time with those outside an immediate ‘bubble’.  

There are many common misconceptions about the rights of those who cohabit, both in terms of rights of occupation and any interest accrued in the property. This misunderstanding has unfortunately led to a rise in the number of disputes regarding cohabitees appearing in the courts.

The perpetuating myth of a ‘common law marriage’ means that many couples are under the misguided belief that if they reside with their partner for long enough, then the courts will view their relationship as being equivalent to a marriage or civil partnership in terms of the rights afforded to married couples and civil partners. This is incorrect. In fact, there are stark differences between the rights of married couples/civil partners and cohabitees.

So, what are the things that you should consider before moving in with your partner?

  1. Where will you live?

This might seem like an obvious point to consider but the nature of ownership of the property is very important.  

If a couple elect to rent a house together, they must then consider what personal liabilities they would incur if they were to separate. For example, if a couple separates and one party moves out of the property, the other may be tied into a rental agreement for a fixed term without any financial assistance from the other party towards the rent and outgoings.

If a couple decide to purchase a property together, they must consider on what basis they intend to hold that property: do they hold the property in equal shares, or do they intend to hold the property unequally, perhaps reflecting their contribution to the purchase price?

If a couple decide to move into a property, which is already owned by one of the parties, they must consider whether it is their intention that, upon moving in together, the partner who is not named on the Title Deeds will gain an interest/share of that property.

Many people (wrongfully) assume that if they live in a property for years, they automatically accrue some form of interest or ownership. Whilst it might be possible to argue in court that a party has accrued an interest, if the facts of their situation satisfy certain criteria, there is no automatic accrual of an interest. This means that in order to establish this interest, parties usually have to go through court proceedings, which inevitably incurs a cost to both parties.

  1. Finances

Does the couple intend to intermingle their finances or keep them separate? What amount will each party contribute to the running of the property? Will these funds be kept in a joint account, or paid solely from the account of one person? Will the outgoings of the property be met jointly or solely by one party?

  1. Children

If a couple intends to have children together (either prior to marriage/civil partnership or, as is common nowadays, without intending to marry or enter into a civil partnership), consideration needs to be given to the provision being made for the children.

Alternatively, if the parties already have children, either together or from a previous relationship, the parties need to consider how the financial needs of these children will be met.

It is clear just from the points made here in this brief bog post that careful consideration ought to be given to the specific facts of a relationship and the intentions of the parties to it. One size does not fit all when it comes to protecting individual rights when moving in with your partner.

What can you do to protect yourself?

We would recommend that any couple moving in together consider getting a cohabitation agreement.

A cohabitation agreement is simply a legal document which sets out any agreement that the couple have reached in relation to the ownership of the property, their finances, and the day-to-day arrangements of their life together as a couple.

Whilst we appreciate that having an agreement drawn up may not appear very ‘romantic’, the agreement can be as minimal or as extensive as the couple wishes, and arguably more importantly, the process itself allows for both parties to understand their current and future rights and establish clearly what the intentions are.

How can we help?

Here at Hill and Company Solicitors, we think it is important to approach matters with care and with the understanding that any form of agreement is put in place for the protection of both parties.

We also believe that the introduction of an agreement should be seen as sensible financial planning, as it gives both parties the opportunity to clarify their intentions and plan for their future as a couple effectively.

If you are moving in with your partner and are considering a cohabitation agreement, contact Hill and Company Solicitors today on 0161 928 3201 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Considering Divorce?

Considering Divorce?

Divorce is not an easy decision. Like any big decision in life, there are lots of things which need to be considered. 

Life-changing?

A divorce undoubtedly results in big changes, and will impact upon your life in several ways. Divorce can create an overwhelming number of emotions, as a result in order to achieve the best result possible for you and your family, it is important to seek professional help from a specialist family solicitor. Here at Hill and Company Solicitors our specialist family lawyers can take you through each step of the divorce process with care and precision, to help make the transition from married life as smooth and easy as possible.

 

Children

At this time, many questions may arise, especially if you have a family and children to consider.  You will likely be concerned over the day-to-day arrangements and how your separation will affect the lives of your children, both practically and emotionally. There are different ways to handle this, some people may prefer to try and reach an agreement as to the day-to-day arrangements by consent, or others may find the litigation process and discussing these topics in court to be a more beneficial way to achieve a favourable outcome. These are the negotiation extremes and there are of course many positions to be found in between these points involving the various forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Importantly, irrespective of which method you select to attempt to resolve matters, negotiations should be handled in a way that is fair and respectful and the wishes and wellbeing of the children should always be kept at the forefront of all communication.

Proceeding this way means that your instructed solicitor can make recommendations and help with advice and guidance to enable you to come to a solution that works best for your family’s unique needs. 

Finances

Upon separation, one of the main concerns for any individual will inevitably be their financial situation, and how they will support themselves and their family moving forward. While the divorce is ongoing one important potential consideration is that you may have two households to provide for instead of one. Remaining within the family home, as an alternative to establishing two separate bases, is only one of the difficult decisions you will be required to make. 

Divorce day- January

Several reports state the first working day in January is known as ‘divorce day’ due to the supposed increase in divorce proceedings being issued in the New Year. However, divorce is not something that can be categorized into one day or a season, and issuing divorce proceedings is something that needs to be carefully considered and thoroughly thought through.

There may seem to be an increase in divorce statics in January, and perhaps this is to do with the attitude “new year, new me…” and the stresses and emotional conflict over the Christmas period may lead up to a divorce in the new year, who knows! Taking the initial steps in the divorce process though is not something to do lightly, and it is important to consider seeking advice as early as possible in order to obtain the best outcomes for all concerned.

Tip

“Pre-Nuptial Agreement usually reduces the time and emotional impact of litigation upon relationship breakdown, speak to one of our family team if you would like more information about your own bespoke agreement.”

Fact

“A new act to be implemented in April 2022, is the No-Fault Divorce act, where there will no longer be a requirement to blame either party for the demise of the marriage. You can find out more information about this act in our upcoming post.”

Contact Zoe Poole:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

0161 928 3201



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Hill and Company Solicitors

4-8 Market Street, Altrincham

Cheshire WA14 1QD


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0161 928 3201*


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Hill and Company Solicitors in Altrincham Cheshire, offer a wide range of legal services. Our departments are headed by experienced senior solicitors who are specialists in their areas of Law.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for further details of our services or if you have a legal matter we can help you with.
We have a limited number of appointments each week, so please get in touch to arrange an appointment.