020 7394 4040

Cohabitation FAQs

What is a cohabitation agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is entered into by unmarried cohabiting couples (either heterosexual couples or gay couples) who want to protect their rights should the relationship break down. The agreement lets the couple document how they will split their property and its contents, personal belongings and savings should they break up.
Why do I need a cohabitation agreement document?
Most cohabiting couples who live together don't have a written agreement governing their rights, but virtually all of them should.

If you live with your partner but are unmarried, then no matter how long you have been together, you don't have the same rights as married couples and you may have little legal protection in the event that you split up. In the case of property, for example, if you have a joint rental agreement or mortgage, it's up to the both of you to decide what will happen if you break up. 

But if you've been living in your partner’s house, then it will not be as easy and you may be left without a place to live.

Even if you have been contributing to the mortgage or paying your way in other ways (e.g. such as staying at home to look after the children), unless your name is on the deeds, you have no right to the property.

Having a cohabitation agreement document can help. It can outline the shares each of you will have in the property or whether one of you will remain the sole owner. It helps to outline both your shares of property, possessions and savings so that the legal consequences of splitting up are a lot easier to deal with.
What does the Lawpack cohabitation agreement cover?
The cohabitation agreement template allows you to specify:

*the ownership of your home - whether you own it jointly together or just one of you owns the property, 

*your home contents and your personal possessions,

*your bank and building society accounts, 

*and your common household expenses including mortgage repayments, rental payments, insurance premiums, council or other local taxes, utility bills, food, decoration and repairs.

By making this cohabitation agreement form, you can avoid disputes about who owns what, and who is responsible for paying various bills.
Are there any taxable advantages from living together (cohabitation) rather than marriage?
No, and you are particularly at a disadvantage when it comes to Inheritance Tax. If you are married and your spouse dies, you do not have to pay tax on his estate whereas a partner who is unmarried but cohabiting does.
Can I ban my partner from our home for being violent?
Yes, by applying to the court for an occupation order (in England & Wales) or an exclusion order (in Scotland). You must be able to prove that your partner has been violent or that you have suffered psychological harm.
If I don't have parental responsibility, do I still have to pay child support?
Yes. The Child Support Agency assesses all fathers in the same way.
Can my partner spend all the money in our joint account?
Any money put into a joint account is treated as jointly owned so either of you can remove it at any time, even if one of you put in more money than the other.
Am I liable for the debts my partner has run up on our joint credit card?
Yes. The bank or credit card company can chase both of either of you for the whole debt.
Can I stay in my partner's property if they want me to leave?
This will depend on the circumstances so you should speak to a specialist solicitor straight away.
Will I automatically inherit my partner's estate when they die?
No, so you should both be making a will immediately.

If your partner dies without making a will their estate will be distributed among their blood relatives in accordance with the rules of intestacy. If you are not married (a.k.a. cohabiting) you may well not be entitled to any of their estate.
My partner and I are cohabiting. We are an unmarried couple who are living together. Should we make a will including each other?
Yes, assuming you want your partner to inherit from you.

It's very important for unmarried partners who are cohabiting to make wills, as without them, the surviving partner may receive nothing when the estate is distributed.
Who is entitled to take parental leave?
Subject to certain conditions, both parents can take up to a total of 18 weeks off, unpaid, to look after a child up to their 18th birthday. Each parent can take 4 weeks in a year for each child (unless the employer agrees otherwise).
Paternity leave is for dads, right?
Not always. A woman who is the long-term partner of a child's mother can also qualify.
My partner is about to have a baby; can I get paid leave?
If you have worked continuously for your employer for 26 weeks by the beginning of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth, you can take either one week or two consecutive weeks' paternity leave (not odd days). During this period, your employer is required to pay statutory paternity pay at the current rate £151.20 per week (from 6 April 2020), even if you don't intend to work after the child is born. To be eligible for statutory paternity pay, you must be earning an average of at least £120 a week (before tax).
Can my husband and I both take adoption leave?
No, statutory adoption leave is only available to one of you. The other member of the couple, or the partner of the adopter, may be able to take paid paternity leave.
What is a Deed Poll?
A Deed Poll is a legal form. Nothing more, nothing less.

A Deed Poll is a legal form that binds you to a defined course of action. And in this case this course of action is to change your name.

And that is all a Deed Poll is: a legal form to officially change your name.

Strictly speaking ‘Deed Polls’ can be used for other purposes. But in popular usage a Deed Poll simply means a legal form that is used to officially change your name. If you want to get really ‘legal’ you can say that a Deed Poll used to change your name should be called a ‘Deed of Change of Name’.
What is on a Deed Poll?
A Deed Poll must legally contain only three statements that, by signing, you commit to:

· To stop using your former name

· To use only your new name and to use your new name at all times

· To request that all persons use your new name only

You next need to sign the Deed Poll, date the Deed Poll and have your signature on the Deed Poll witnessed. It's as simple as that. In just five minutes you can change your name officially by Deed Poll.
How long must I be married before I can petition for divorce?
In England & Wales you must be married for at least a year before you can start a divorce petition. In Scotland you or your spouse must have resided in Scotland for the year preceding the divorce, or consider Scotland your principal place of residence.
Why do I need a Deed Poll to change my name?
In order to change your name officially you need to officially change your name. A Deed Poll is the legal form that does this.

For instance, we assume that having changed your name you will want to get all your official documents and official records changed to be in your new name. Things like your UK passport, your bank accounts, your driving license and so on. To do this you will need to be able to provide documentary evidence of your change of name: and this is why you need a Deed Poll.

When changing your name by Deed Poll, you simply write to everyone, enclosing copies of your Deed Poll, and ask that your name is changed to your chosen new name.

Full instructions on what to do to change your name officially are provided with our Deed Poll Kit. Change your name officially now!
Which names can I change by Deed Poll?
With our Deed Poll Kit, you can change just about any name you want... to just about any name you want!

· You can change your forenames or your family name (or surname).

· You can add or remove names.

· You can rearrange your existing names and change their order.

In fact, as long as you are not changing your name with the intention of deceiving someone, you can change your name when you want and how you want.
Will a Deed Poll help me change my name on every official document?
There are some things a Deed Poll cannot change your name on. These are historical records that cannot be changed, simply simply because they are historical records.

So your Deed Poll can't be used to change the name that appears on your birth certificate, marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, divorce decree absolute certificate or any educational or professional certificates that you hold. In fact, there is no legal circumstance in which the names on these can be changed.

But our Deed Poll Kit will enable you to change your name on your passport, driving licence, bank accounts and all other official documents.
Must I register my Deed Poll?
There is no official, central register of name changes in the UK. You do not need to officially register your Deed Poll anywhere.

You may hear of some Deed Polls being ‘enrolled’. This means they are lodged in the Enrolment Books of the Supreme Court of Judicature. This is something of a historical oddity and carries no legal benefit but does carry a hefty expense. If you want to blow some money you can find out more about Deed Polls and the Enrolment Books.

Or you can save your money for something that really matters and change your name officially by Deed Poll by downloading our Deed Poll Kit now.
Why change your name?
Maybe we should ask why not change your name? Because there are hundreds of different reasons why people change their names officially by Deed Poll. Here are just some.

· Many people do change their name for no other reason than they fancy it.

· A mother may wish all her children to have the same surname.

· Others change their name during a divorce, such as a woman reverting to her maiden name.

· Some simply prefer their middle name to their first name.

· Many couples opt for a hyphenated surname (Smith-Jones etc) on marriage or a Civil Partnership.

· Transsexuals may wish for a more feminine or masculine name.

· Or maybe you’ve always just fancied being known as Long John Silver?

Whatever your reason you can change your name officially using our Change Your Name Officially by Deed Poll Kit.
Do I need to get a solicitor to witness my Deed Poll?
No, you do need a solicitor to witness your Deed Poll.

Just follow the instructions contained in our Deed Poll Kit and your name change will be official and accepted by all official organisations.

Anyone can witness your Deed Poll as long as they are over 18 years old and they know you but are ‘independent’ of you. This simply means they are not related or in a relationship with you. A friend, neighbour or work mate is perfect!
My partner and I own our house ­jointly but everything else is separate. I would own the house outright if he died, but what about ­everything else?
When your partner dies, you would inherit the house. But because you are not married or in a civil partnership, you will not have any rights to anything which is your partner's alone. Marriage would make a difference but you both need to make a will – otherwise, the rules of intestacy apply.


Dear Customer, Thank you for purchasing our paper products. Updates & Downloads for our paper DIY Kits To access the downloadable forms and legal updates relevant to the paper DIY Kit you have purchased, please click on the appropriate product link...

Category: Updates and downloads

Established in 1993, Lawpack is the UK’s leading provider of legal forms and DIY legal kits. We also produce a range of legal guides and have just launched our new legal services, which can help you to write a Will...

Category: Uncategorized

What is a company resolution? A company resolution is an official record of the decision of the directors or members of a company. Once a resolution is passed, the company is bound by it. If a majority is not reached...

Category: Company management articles

Poor health and safety can leads to illness and accidents, and significant costs for your business. Employers who take their responsibilities seriously and follow the correct health and safety procedures improve the productivity of their businesses and increase their reputation...

Category: Employment contract articles