The Divorce Magazine spoke with Paul Sandford, the Principal Director of Albert Square Mediation about unmarried couples, separation and property issues.
A cohabitation agreement for unmarried partners is something that couples choosing to live together really need.
People often say that a prenup or a cohabitation agreement is quite “unromantic”. But as someone ones said, “there is nothing as romantic as a prenup or a cohabitation agreement. It shows that you care enough about that person to make sure that if anything happens to either of you, including a divorce of separation, that your spouse is taken care off or that your choice to go separate ways is much made that much easier.”
A cohabitation agreement really does signify a commitment.
What provision is there for the unmarried spouse whose partner falls terribly ill and loses all capacity for the rest of his life. What does his unmarried spouse do if his relatives come knocking on the door?
So what does Paul suggest unmarried couples do when they chose to purchase a property together?
When the unmarried couple sign the necessary documents and handover the money on completion, they should sign a deed of trust that says something along the lines of, “this house, is bought by (insert names) and we have a 50/50 interest in it”, for instance.
It should also, for the benefits of the lawyers listening to the interview, specify, tenants in common or joint tenants and if possible specify what circumstances would trigger the employment of the “clause” or deed of trust.
What would happen if, one partner is deceased, and there are children? You cannot cover every eventuality, it’s true, but it still remains vital to have such a clause, for lack of a better word.
It’s a bit like making a will! It really doesn’t have to be a big deal.
It can be incredibly simple.
It is legally binding? Yes it is, it’s effectively a deed of trust and you can change it if need be.
You can reach Paul at http://www.albertsquaremediation.co.uk/