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Co-habitation agreements and Civil Partnerships

As of 31.12.2019, opposite sex couples are now able to enter into a Civil Partnership. Many people ask, what is the benefit of this?

Until recently, a civil partnership was reserved for same-sex couples as same-sex couples were not allowed to marry. As marriage is now a possibility for both same-sex and opposite sex couples, a change was required so the same right could be given to opposite sex couples to enter into a civil partnership.

Many couples in our generation do not agree with the archaic terminology and practices of marriage such as being someone’s “wife” or “husband” rather than equal partners. Many couples do not practice any religion and therefore being married in a church may be inappropriate for them.

We have seen a shift in how people view older practices such as marriage in our modern society and experts have predicted that over 80,000 opposite sex couples could form a civil partnership in 2020. Couples who choose to enter into a civil partnership will now benefit from the same financial security as married couples that the mythical common law husband and wife relationships do not, such as tax benefits, pensions and inheritance.

A common law marriage is a term used when a man and woman live together unmarried as if they were husband and wife. However, it is important to know your financial position if you choose to live this way which, legally, is as two single people.  You could enter into a cohabitation agreement to clarify your financial arrangements as unmarried partners, which can be extremely influential to the Court if a dispute arises.  However, a cohabitation agreement is not legally binding in the same way as a Civil Partnership.

If you wish to discuss civil partnerships or a cohabitation agreement to document your financial and living arrangements both during cohabitation and if cohabitation comes to an end, please contact a member of our team.

With offices in Sunderland and Newcastle, our family lawyers work with clients across the North East. For a free no obligation first discussion or to arrange an initial consultation, please get in touch:

Family Solicitors in Sunderland: 0191 5682050

Family Solicitors in Newcastle: 0345 900 5401


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