The rights and obligations of cohabitees are very different from those of married couples. We advise our clients on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown, for themselves and for any children.
Increasingly, we are called upon to prepare cohabitation agreements and declarations of trust for clients about to purchase a property or move in with a partner, regulating the ownership of assets and setting out in advance what would happen in the event of relationship breakdown or death. Often we advise on the complex trust and property law principles which determine the division of assets on relationship breakdown, in the absence of a formal agreement.
Much of our work in this area involves advising on Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 which governs the question of financial support for children. We have expertise in negotiating settlements of property and orders for child maintenance for parents seeking financial provision for a child.