Is a cohabitation agreement necessary?
There are several reasons why parties who are cohabitating should consider entering into a cohabitation agreement which regulates their proprietary affairs.
The main reason relates to a partner’s right to maintenance or support. The current position with regards to the right to maintenance or support from the estate of a deceased domestic partner, is that no such right automatically exists.
A surviving partner will find it very difficult to convince the courts of his/her right to claim maintenance or support from a deceased domestic partner’s estate, if the parties did not enter into a binding contract with the intention by both parties to be legally bound.
Various other issues need to be considered when parties are cohabitating, i.e. finances during the existence of the relationship, joint ownership of assets, division of estates upon termination of the relationship, investment, maintenance, death and children.
Are you legally married after living together for 7 years?
Cohabitation does not create any automatic legal rights and duties between parties. This is the case irrespective of the duration of the relationship.