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Why travel happy couples love cohabitation

By LLM Reporters on 20th January 2019

In an age of easy travel, more and more people are meeting their partners abroad before coming to settle in the UK. The term holiday romance isn’t just a two week love story any more, and more of an expat tale which has turned into lifelong companionship. The result is a rise in cohabiting couples, as these free spirits want to enjoy living together without having to tie the knot. But what is the big attraction, and what exactly does it mean to opt into cohabitation?

When two or more people decide to live together without being married, they can opt for a cohabitation agreement. In this case, it’s travel happy couples who are returning from their trips abroad to live their daily lives in the UK. However, friends and families can also enter into a cohabiting living arrangement.

More and more couples are choosing cohabitation

You might be asking yourself, why are happy couples leaving it longer before tying the knot, if deciding to get married at all? Cohabitation is a rising household trend in the UK. In fact, cohabitating couples account for 17% of families in the UK. and the trend has more than doubled from 1.5 million families cohabitating in the 90s, to 3.3 million families choosing to cohabitate today.

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In an age of easy travel, more and more people are meeting their partners abroad before coming to settle in the UK

Despite this, many people are not sure about the key facts or legal implications surrounding cohabitation over marriage. 47% of Brits think that cohabitating couples attain the same legal rights as married couples – but that’s not necessarily the case.

Cohabitation vs Marriage

One of the biggest benefits of cohabitation, particularly for couples who might have met abroad or are keen travellers, is that it requires less commitment than a marriage or a civil partnership. Many young couples are also opting to spend their money on travelling and experiences, rather than a wedding ceremony and marriage, which can be incredibly costly. Cohabitation appears to be a great fit for this demographic, and we can see why, but what about the implications?

When compared with marriage, cohabitation offers few, if any, legally binding agreements. If the relationship breaks down, neither couple is legally entitled to any of their shared assets, and they’ll have to agree on something amongst themselves – which is definitely not ideal! However, there are ways in which you can set legal agreements for cohabitation.

Tips for cohabitating couples

Here are some top tips for travel happy couples that love cohabitation, but want to ensure they are legally protected.

Considering a cohabitation agreement

The best way to ensure you have similar rights to married couples is to set up a cohabitation agreement. This agreement is a legally binding document that can outline how your property or any shared assets should be split should your relationship break down. Although no couple wants to think about their relationship breaking down, it’s always a good idea to set up a cohabitation agreement just in case. This agreement can be written up by a specialist solicitor, such as Abacus Solicitors in Manchester, to cement your legal rights as a couple.

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The best way to ensure you have similar rights to married couples is to set up a cohabitation agreement

Write a will and update it regularly

Marriage automatically entitles partners to each others assets should one pass away, but cohabitation does not. Writing a will, and updating it regularly, is a great way to ensure you a have a legally binding agreement, without marriage, should your partner pass away.

Agree how to split payments beforehand

It sounds simple, but agreeing how to split payments, such as bills, is worth doing before you decide to cohabitate with your partner. If you’ve been travelling together and are returning home, agreeing this beforehand could make the whole process go a lot smoother.