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A Co-habitation Agreement is an agreement between a couple who wish to live together but do not want to enter into a marriage although they want to protect themselves from litigation and other negative consequences should their cohabitation break down.
Many couples move in together long before marriage is considered. This is a very exciting time and couples generally do not consider what will happen if living together does not work out.
It is ideal that a couple sign a Co-habitation Agreement when they first move in together but if you have not done so this agreement remains a good idea and can be done at a later stage in the relationship.
This Co-habitation Agreement is a non-threatening, amicable arrangement which serves the purpose of avoiding conflict and is considered beneficial for all parties involved.
In this agreement the couple can stipulate who pays for what and who carries which responsibilities of the joint household and what the arrangements will be if they separate – specifying who will keep specific assets and what will happen to assets bought jointly.
Although living together is attractive, couples must remember that this relationship is not recognised as such in South African law, and you do not have the same rights as married couples.
While you could try to prove your rights in terms of a Universal Partnership, it does not mean that you will be successful, and this is a very expensive process as it entails a High Court Application.
We therefore advise that you contact us to draft a Co-Habitation agreement for you.