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COVID-19: Despite the pandemic, we continue to offer a full range of services from our offices in Altrincham and out in the community. We are committed to providing a safe and secure service and have introduced robust measures to ensure the safety of our clients and colleagues. We ask that visitors to our offices wear face coverings and use the PPE provided. For more information on how we are ensuring your safety, contact us on 0161 928 3201.

Moving in with Your Signigicant 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 Dan Knox: 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



COVID-19 - Safe and secure service

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Hill and Company Solicitors continue to offer a full range of services from our offices in Altrincham and out in the community.

We are committed to providing a safe and secure service and have introduced robust measures to ensure the safety of our clients and colleagues.

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No-Fault Divorce

Under the current divorce laws, couples wishing to start divorce proceedings with two years of separation have to rely on what are known as ‘fault-based’ facts, i.e. adultery or unreasonable behaviour.  This can cause unnecessary animosity and upset for couples that have simply grown apart and no longer love each other.

A bill removing fault from the divorce process has now been passed through Parliament which is a significant step after years of campaigning.

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A Guide for First-time Buyers

Buying your first home can be exciting but also daunting, especially if you are unsure of the processes or what you need to arrange. In this blog, we are going to cover the crucial factors that first-time buyers need to consider when looking to buy their first home. Following this advice will help make the situation seem less overwhelming and daunting.

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Avoiding the Pitfalls of Online Divorce

Whilst issuing divorce proceedings online may appear to be considered a cheaper option, by not seeking advice from a solicitor you may unknowingly be putting your long term financial position at risk.

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How Often Should I Update My Will?

Many people write their will and then forget about it, they don’t update it after major life or financial changes. Having an inaccurate will, or a will that is not up to date, could cause issues for your loved ones. But how often should you update my will? Even if you have had any major life changes, it is recommended that you review or update your will at least every five years.

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What is Supervised Contact?

Going through the process of a divorce or separation is often a difficult time, especially if children are affected. Making arrangements for a child to spend time with their non-resident parent can be challenging and, in some cases, a supervised contact order may be issued by the family courts.

The purpose of supervised contact is to protect the child’s wellbeing, in terms of their physical and emotional safety. If a court deems that supervised contact is necessary, the court will define the contact arrangements.

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What is a Deputyship?

At Hill and Company, we specialise in putting Deputyship Orders in place. These are complex legal documents that need careful explanation. We have put together this guide to help you understand the purpose of a Deputyship.

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The Difference Between Marriage and Civil Partnerships

Civil partnerships were originally introduced in 2004 as a way for same-sex couples to join in a union like marriage.
Originally only same-sex couples were able to enter into a civil partnership and heterosexual couples could get married. This changed in 2014 when the legislation came into force which allowed same-sex couples to get married rather than getting a civil partnership.

However, heterosexual couples were not able to get a civil partnership until 2018, when the supreme court ruled that civil partnerships should be available for both heterosexual and same-sex couples after petitioning.

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What Happens if My House Sale Falls Through?

According to research1, a quarter of house sales fell through in 2019, showing just how common this problem is for sellers.

The top reason that sales fell through was due to the buyer changing their mind, which can be down to a number of factors such as their own house sale falling through.

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Child Contact FAQs

After separation, organising child contact for the parent who has left the family home is important for both the child and parents. Parental separation can be upsetting and confusing for children so ensuring that they are still able to have a relationship with each parent will help with processing the separation.

Organising contact can be difficult, especially if the separation has not been amicable. To help, we have compiled some FAQs to give you a better understanding of child contact.

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Planning For Your Future – Getting a Will and LPA

Having a Lasting Power or Attorney,(LPA), and a will written is vitally important no matter what age you are.

Whilst making plans for if you become incapable of making decisions or passing away is not a pleasant thought, ensuring these plans are in place will help protect you and most importantly, it will help protect your family. Without having a will or an LPA in place, your family will have to go through many lengthy government processes in order to carry out your wishes, which sometimes costs thousands. In order to save your family from going through this process, you will need to appoint an LPA and set up a will whilst you are declared to have sound body and mind. 

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How much does moving house really cost?

Buying a house for the first time has a number of different costs but if you are moving house, i.e. selling one property and buying another one, there are even more factors to consider. Research shared by Barclays1 shows that the average cost of moving.

If you are looking to move to a bigger property or a different area then the only solution is to move home, so here is a breakdown of the costs involved to help you plan for a house move.

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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.
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