Six out of ten couples who live together believe that they have the same protection as married couples should their relationship break down. Unfortunately this is not the case and as more and more unmarried couples live together today, many are shocked that they do not have the same rights as married couples should they decide to part.
This of course should not prevent couples moving in together, but it helps to have a good understanding of the law should a relationship end. If you are planning to buy a property together it is good to decide what would happen for example if one of you died or split up prior to exchanging contracts for the purchase. In particular think about:
- In whose name is the property to be registered?
- Do you wish to own the property in equal or unequal shares?
- What happens if one person puts more money in or pays a higher amount of the mortgage?
- If you split up and one person moves out prior to the property being sold, who will pay the mortgage and bills pending the sale?
- If one person wants to “buy out” the other persons share, how will the property be valued and how long should the person who wants to stay in the property be given to raise the necessary funds?
- Assuming that you do not split up and all is going well, how will the mortgage payments and other bills be shared?
- What happens if you have children and one parent stops working to look after the children? What financial arrangements should be put in place?
If you are going to buy a property jointly with someone else, you should arrange an appointment with a Solicitor and ask them to draw up a Declaration of Trust document. This declaration sets out to answer the questions above and is used as legal document should the relationship break down.
To find out more about how we can help with any queries regarding a declaration of trust, cohabitation agreements and family law please visit https://www.lambandholmes.com/private-client-services/family-law or alternatively please contact our Corby office on 01536 745 168.