With all the stress and excitement involved with moving in together with your partner, the legal side of the whole thing sometimes gets ignored. After all, talking about contractual agreements isn’t exactly romantic.
In the real world, though, the law does matter, and the legal side of moving in together is something which no couple should ignore. So, here’s a quick guide.
1. Figure Out Where You Stand with Money
Money often complicates relationships, but sticking your head in the sand and ignoring it won’t make things any simpler. All you’re doing is allowing the issue to fester unresolved, which is never a good thing. This is probably why money is the leading cause of arguments in romantic relationships.
Have this conversation before you move in and recognise that no two relationships are the same. Some couples split everything down the middle and keep their finances entirely separate. Some couples have a system whereby the person who earns more pays more. Some couples have a joint account for everything. Some couples only have a joint account for some things.
It doesn’t matter what you decide to do. All that matters is that you both agree on what you do. If you can’t decide on what to do, then there’s no harm in talking to someone.
2. Talk to a Solicitor from the Legal 500 Family Law
You might not be married just yet, or you might not want to be married at all, but a family lawyer is still the best legal expert to talk to. Cohabitation, which is the legal term for living together, comes under family law. So, if you want a legal expert to help you with cohabitation, a family lawyer is the legal professional you should choose.
When choosing a family lawyer, you’ll need to be assured that they offer a quality service. As such, make sure that you choose a family lawyer from the Legal 500 Family Law. The Legal 500 Family Law is a subsection of the Legal 500 rankings.
This ranking system has been around for nearly three decades, operates in over 100 jurisdictions and is based on the opinions of over 300,000 clients, as well as input from many legal experts. Using these rankings to find the right lawyer for you is the best way of ensuring that you are using a consummate professional.
3. Consider Going to London to Talk to a Legal Professional
It might sound like an unnecessary step, but when you consider that one third of all practising legal professionals in the UK operate in London, it makes sense. If you’re from a small town where family lawyers from the Legal 500 Family Law are hard to find, it might make more sense to venture further afield.
London isn’t an option for everyone, but think about broadening your net. Think London, but also think Bristol, Edinburgh, Belfast, or Birmingham. If you’re going to be spending money on talking to a legal professional, you may as well spend money on visiting a big city.
4. Get a Cohabitation Agreement
Whether or not you choose to use a solicitor from the Legal 500 Family Law to do this, you should make sure that you have a cohabitation agreement before moving in. This is especially the case if you don’t plan on getting married at any point.
Unmarried couples don’t have the same legal rights as married couples. It’s for that reason that gay marriage rights are such a big deal. It’s also for that reason that cohabitation agreements exist. They are specifically designed so unmarried couples can have the same legal rights as married couples should anything happen to the relationship.
Don’t think of the agreement as betting against your relationship. Think of it like insurance for moving in together. If you plan on driving a car, you need car insurance. If you don’t plan on getting married, you need a cohabitation agreement of some sort.