The 2021 census shows that nearly four in ten adults have never been married or in a civil partnership.  This has risen over the decades, with the figure at the start of the century being three in ten adults. 

The statistics also revealed that the proportion of adults who are divorced or have dissolved their civil partnership increased, with 9.1% of adults in 2021 and 6.2% of adults in 1991.  The trend has however slowed down.   

It suggests that some adults are choosing not to marry or remarry, but what does that mean for cohabiting couples?

Cohabitation Agreements are a legal document between unmarried couples who live or intend to live together.  It can cover a variety of agreements, including what is to happen with finances and property both during the relationship but also in the event of separation. 

A Cohabitation Agreement should be tailored to meet the specific needs and requirements of the couple.  Some might just want to address the property ownership.  Perhaps that means ensuring that their purchase deposit is repaid before the equity is divided when the property is sold.  Or it could mean ensuring that contributions by a non-owner towards living expenses does not change the beneficial ownership of a solely owned property.  Others might want to ensure an heirloom remains in the family or define how the joint purchase of an asset should be treated. 

If you would like further advice on whether a Cohabitation Agreement is suitable for you, please do not hesitate to contact our family law solicitors.