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Cohabitation agreement checklist

Make it Legal™ Checklist

Here are a few important steps to take to finish your document

Read the document to make sure it meets your needs.

Remember that if you have any questions you can easily Ask a lawyer.

Before signing your Cohabitation Agreement you need to take certain steps for the Agreement to be considered and upheld by a court. This includes you and your unmarried partner seeking independent legal advice. Other safeguards include:

  • being completely honest with each other

  • the Agreement being made by both of you, with no undue pressure from either of you

  • your signatures being witnessed by different witnesses

A Cohabitation Agreement is a special type of contract called a ‘deed’ and must be signed in a special way:

  1. Print a copy for each person (the parties). You cannot sign online. 

  2. You need two witnesses, one for each party. Each witness must be independent (ie not a family member) and have mental capacity and should not be under 18.

  3. Each party must sign on the line beside their name, using their normal signature, in front of their witness.

  4. The witnesses must sign on the line beside the words ‘Witness signature’ and write out their name, address and occupation in the spaces provided.

  5. Complete the document by writing the date in the space provided at the top.

Make a copy for each party and store the originals safely away.

Remember to regularly review your Cohabitation Agreement, especially if there are any changes to your circumstances (eg if you have a child).

You must print a copy of your deed and sign it physically. Deeds can legally be signed using electronic signatures, but extra care must be taken when signing electronically to ensure that all of the formalities for the execution of the particular type of deed are met. This Cohabitation Agreement is, therefore, designed to be signed by hand (ie ‘wet-signed’) to ensure that it is executed correctly. 

You will need two witnesses as you must each sign your Cohabitation Agreement in front of a different witness. Using the same witness for both of your signatures may cause the Agreement not to be considered and upheld by the courts.

This Agreement will automatically come to an end and will generally not be considered by the courts if you marry or have a baby.

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