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Covid-19 & New Relationships: moving in together post-lockdown

This is the second of two articles of steps that families can take, even during Covid 19 restrictions, head off potential problems in future.

We imagine that many couples in our area were making plans before current restrictions.  Perhaps they were planning to get married, or to buy a house together, or one person was planning to move in with the other.  Then along came restrictions effectively saying, “you can’t do any of that”.

Perhaps that pause, allows us all to reflect “can we take steps to make sure that this new phase of our lives passes as trouble free as possible?”.

Firstly: if you are living together but not getting married, have you considered such things as:

  • If I am moving into someone else’s house, do I have any rights of ownership or occupation?
  • If we are buying a house together, who pays for what? Who gets the equity if we split up?

Have you considered a Cohabitation Deed?

Cohabitation Deeds can deal with such important things as occupation and ownership of a home, paying for bills etc and crucially (see below) they can spell out “if we split up, this is what we are going to do”.  This may not seem important now but note: where unmarried couples split up, they do not have the same rights, as married couples.  Different laws apply.  Legal proceedings between unmarried couples can be lengthy and very expensive.  So if a couple signs a deed saying “this is what we shall do if we split up”, that can help to avoid this type of nasty/expensive Court case.

If you are getting married – particularly if you have been married before, or one of you has significantly greater assets – have you considered a Nuptial Deed?  Note, whilst these are often “Pre-Nuptial” they do not have to be.  Nuptial Deeds can be entered into by any couple who is married or about to marry.  Again, such deeds would set out, “if we split up, this is how we will divide our assets and how we will deal with things”.  This can be particularly important if one (or both) of you thinks “I want to protect the things I brought to the marriage, even if we are to share equally, any resources we built up together”.  The cost of a Nuptial Deed is significantly less than the likely cost of a contested case in the Divorce Court and crucially: a Deed that is then implemented by that couple should save them, from a lot of the antagonism and upset that often comes with a Court case.

For more information on co-habitation or nuptial agreements please read here on how we can help you and if you are in the Nottingham area contact or if you are in the Mansfield area contact or

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