What Mortgage: Cohabiting couples – what happens to the house and mortgage if you split?

5th February, 2024

Michelle, our esteemed property expert and the founder of IMS Property, has been invited to share her insights on cohabiting couples by What Mortgage.

Recognised as one of the foremost mortgage broker experts in the UK, her perspective adds valuable expertise to the discussion.

Breaking up is never easy, especially when unmarried couples decide to part ways after cohabiting. This article explores essential considerations for non-married couples in the UK, shedding light on legal protections and potential pitfalls.

Cohabitation Agreements: When entering the realm of cohabitation, it’s crucial to establish a formal cohabitation agreement. While not legally binding, these agreements serve as vital documents that outline rights, responsibilities, and financial arrangements. Having this agreement in place can significantly simplify the complex and emotional process of asset division during a breakup.

Mortgages vs. Property Deeds: Understanding the nuances between joint mortgages and property deeds is pivotal for cohabiting couples. Simply sharing the responsibility for loan repayments (joint mortgages) doesn’t guarantee legal ownership. The legal standing is determined by property deeds, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the right names on the right documents to prevent future complications.

Insurance for Protection: The role of insurance cannot be overstated in protecting financial interests and assets during a breakup. Life insurance and critical illness cover provide financial protection in the event of illness or death, while income protection insurance ensures a regular income if a partner is unable to work. These policies act as a safety net, reducing the risk of financial hardships during challenging times.

Property Lawyers: In some cases, disputes may necessitate the involvement of a property lawyer. These professionals play a crucial role in clarifying legal standings, mediating potential conflicts, and helping couples safeguard their interests. While not always necessary, having a property lawyer can provide invaluable guidance during challenging times.

Dispute Handling: Maintaining privacy during disputes is emphasized in the article. Keeping the resolution process between the couple, without involving new partners or outsiders, is essential to prevent unnecessary complications and emotional trauma. Open communication and discretion are key to navigating these challenging situations.

Selling Property with Expertise: When the decision to sell arises, partnering with an estate agent experienced in divorce proceedings can streamline the process. This ensures that the intricacies of divorce and property transactions are handled with expertise, making the transition smoother for both parties.

Conclusion: The overall message is clear – prevention is better than intervention. By proactively addressing legal matters, having the right insurance coverage, and fostering open communication, unmarried couples can safeguard their assets and financial future.

For a comprehensive understanding of navigating breakups, delve into the full article and take proactive steps to ensure a smoother tomorrow.

Read the full article here on What Mortgage

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