Cohabitation Agreements – Are they set in stone?

We recently discussed cohabitation agreements and their function in enabling cohabiting couples to formally outline their wishes, taking into consideration a time when they may no longer be together.

One question this has raised is whether these wishes are then ‘set in stone’ or whether it is possible to alter such agreements. The simple answer: changes can be made.

Within every relationship changes happen, whether it is the birth of children, the purchase of a property / asset or other significant change in circumstances. Such changes can and should be incorporated into a cohabitation agreement.

Whilst not all changes or purchases will require the agreement to be altered, it is advised that following any significant life events or every 3 – 4 years, a cohabitation agreement should be reviewed and updated as deemed necessary. It is only by updating this in line with your circumstances that the agreement will remain fit for purpose.

Whilst some people may perceive a cohabitation agreement as a ‘negative agreement’ and something that they may not wish to consider, it is only with such an agreement in place that you can safeguard against potentially lengthy and costly battles regarding children and assets at a later date. As such they should be viewed as a positive agreement.

Regarding Cohabitation Agreements, Nicholas Clough commented:

“Cohabitation agreements provide security to both parties should they separate at a later date.

It is vital however that once an agreement has been put in place that this is updated following any significant changes or to incorporate any monies that may have been spent by the couple or borrowed / gifted from families. We have previously discussed the finance of property from ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ and the importance of a cohabitation agreement in such cases. It is only by implementing such an agreement that you can rest assured that this financial assistance is protected”.

If you have any questions regarding cohabitation agreements or would like to discuss making or updating an agreement, please contact Nicholas Clough in our Family Law department on 07538 385956, by email to or visit our website to access LiveChat via our website.

Don’t let the sadness and upheaval of a breakup be made even more difficult because of fights over property, possessions, children or pets.