Free Cohabitation Agreement - Ireland

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Cohabitation Agreement

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COHABITATION AGREEMENT

THIS COHABITATION AGREEMENT (the "Agreement") dated this ________ day of ________________, ________.

BETWEEN:

_____________________
of _________________________

- AND -

_____________________
of _________________________

BACKGROUND

  1. This Agreement is made between _____________________ and _____________________ (collectively the "Parties" and individually a "Party") who presently reside in a non-marital cohabitation, although there is no present intention to marry.
  2. The Parties' non-marital cohabitation began or would begin on approximately the 24th day of September, 2021.
  3. The Parties wish to enter into this Agreement to provide for the status, ownership, and division of property between them, including future property owned or to be acquired by either or both of them.
  4. The Parties further wish to affix their respective rights and liabilities that may result from this relationship.
  5. The Parties recognise the possibility of unhappy differences that may arise between them. Accordingly, the Parties desire that the distribution of any property that either or both of them may own will be governed by the terms of this Agreement and, insofar as the statutory or case law permits, intend that any statutes that may apply to them will not apply to them.
  6. The Parties have either each retained their own lawyer and have received independent legal advice or have retained legal advice together and have waived the right to independent legal advice regarding the terms of this Agreement.
  7. The Parties acknowledge that neither is under any duress or undue influence of the other, and that they are voluntarily entering into this Agreement.
  8. The Parties have disclosed to the satisfaction of each of them all assets and liabilities that each may have.

NOW THEREFORE in consideration of the upcoming cohabitation agreement, and in consideration of the mutual promises and covenants contained in this Agreement, the Parties agree as follows:

  1. PROPERTY
  2. The Parties acknowledge that this Agreement will govern any determination of ownership of property that may occur in the event of the Parties separating, or upon the death of a Party.
  3. All jointly acquired or jointly held property, however and whenever acquired, will remain the property of and be owned by both Parties and will be treated as shared property (the "Shared Property").
  4. In the event of the Parties separating, or upon the death of a Party, all Shared Property will be deemed to be owned equally and each Party will be entitled to fifty percent (50%) of the net equity of the property, regardless of the initial or ongoing proportion of each Party's investment, unless the Parties have agreed otherwise in writing.
  5. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, all property will be treated as property owned solely by either one of the Parties (the "Separate Property") except where:
    1. it is Shared Property; or
    2. there is proof of shared legal ownership.
  6. Nothing in this Agreement will prevent or invalidate any gift, or transfer for value, from one Party to the other of present or future property.
  7. Unless a Party can reasonably show that they solely own a piece of property, where either Party commingles jointly owned property with Separate Property, any commingled property will be presumed to be Shared Property.
  8. DEBTS
  9. The Parties acknowledge that this Agreement will govern any determination of responsibility of debts that may occur in the event of the Parties separating, or upon the death of a Party.
  10. All jointly acquired or jointly held debts, however and whenever acquired, will remain the debts of and be owed by both Parties and will be treated as shared debts (the "Shared Debts").
  11. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, all debts will be treated as debts owed solely by either one of the Parties (the "Separate Debts") except where:
    1. it is Shared Debt; or
    2. there is proof of shared legal responsibility.
  12. In the event of a separation, or upon the death of a Party, all Shared Debt will be deemed to be owed equally and each Party will be financially responsible for 50% of any jointly acquired or jointly held debt, regardless of the initial or ongoing proportion of each Party's borrowed amount, unless the Parties have agreed otherwise in writing.
  13. HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES
  14. Each Party will pay fifty percent (50%) of the Parties’ household expenses.
  15. The Parties’ household expenses will be paid out of a joint bank account (the “Joint Account”).
  16. MAINTENANCE
  17. The Parties agree that the investment of time or labour with respect to personal service in the property of the other, or otherwise, will be deemed to have been made gratuitously, and without expectation or right of compensation unless agreed to the contrary in writing.
  18. It is the intention of the Parties to forever release each other from any maintenance obligations now and in the future no matter how their circumstances may change.
  19. It is understood by each Party that this Agreement represents a final disposition of all maintenance issues between them.
  20. ESTATES AND TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION
  21. Nothing in this Agreement will limit or affect any rights that each may acquire as a cohabitant or cohabitant in the property, assets or estate of the other cohabitant.
  22. Nothing in this Agreement will invalidate or prevent either Party from naming the other as a beneficiary by will or other testamentary disposition.
  23. SEVERABILITY
  24. Should any portion of this Agreement be held by a court of law to be invalid, unenforceable, or void, such holding will not have the effect of invalidating or voiding the remainder of this Agreement, and the Parties agree that the portion so held to be invalid, unenforceable, or void, will be deemed amended, reduced in scope, or otherwise stricken only to the extent required for purposes of validity and enforcement in the jurisdiction of such holding.
  25. INTENTION OF THE PARTIES
  26. Notwithstanding that the Parties acknowledge and agree that their circumstances at the execution of this Agreement may change for many reasons, including but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the passage of years, it is nonetheless their intention to be bound strictly by the terms of this Agreement at all times.
  27. DUTY OF GOOD FAITH
  28. This Agreement creates a fiduciary relationship between the Parties in which each Party agrees to act with the utmost of good faith and fair dealing toward the other in all aspects of this Agreement.
  29. FURTHER DOCUMENTATION
  30. The Parties agree to provide and execute such further documentation as may be reasonably required to give full force and effect to each term of this Agreement.
  31. TITLE/HEADINGS
  32. The headings of this Agreement form no part of it, and will be deemed to have been inserted for convenience only.
  33. ENUREMENT
  34. This Agreement will be binding upon and will enure to the benefit of the Parties, their respective heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns.
  35. GOVERNING LAW
  36. The law of Ireland will govern the interpretation of this Agreement, and the status, ownership, and division of property between the Parties wherever either or both of them may from time to time reside.
  37. TERMINATION OR AMENDMENT
  38. This Agreement may only be terminated or amended by the Parties in writing signed by both of them.

SIGNED
before me in _________________________, this ________ day of ________________, ________


____________________________________
Practising Solicitor / Commissioner for Oaths
Name: __________________
Address: ______________________

   


_____________________________
_____________________

     

SIGNED
before me in _________________________, this ________ day of ________________, ________


____________________________________
Practising Solicitor / Commissioner for Oaths
Name: __________________
Address: ______________________

   


_____________________________
_____________________

     

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Cohabitation Agreement is a contract between an unmarried couple who is romantically involved and preparing to live together. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of each person and makes provisions about how to divide the couple’s assets in the event they separate in the future. The agreement can cover some or all their assets and debts.

You can use this Cohabitation Agreement if you and your partner are two adults who are:

  • Not married to each other
  • Not in a registered civil partnership
  • Not related by family
  • Living together in an intimate and committed relationship

The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act, 2010 governs the rights of cohabiting couples in Ireland.

What is cohabitation?

Cohabitation is an arrangement between two romantically involved people who live together while not married or in a civil partnership.

What are the differences between cohabitation and marriage?

Although cohabitation and marriage have some similarities in that they both deal with topics like debt responsibilities, division of assets, support payments, and information regarding children, there are key distinctions between the two, such as:

  • A couple getting married needs to obtain a marriage license, wait a certain period of time, or hire an officiant. Cohabiting couples don’t require formal or legal steps to be taken.
  • Ending a marriage requires the formal process of filing for divorce. Ending a cohabiting relationship can be an informal process, depending on the terms and conditions of your Cohabitation Agreement.
  • A cohabitant generally can’t make decisions for the other person should they become ill, mentally incompetent (not of sound mind), or otherwise unable to make legal decisions on their own.
  • Cohabiting couples need to wait five years (or two years if you have children together) to gain rights in relation to property, custody of children, maintenance, and inheritance. Married couples obtain these rights upon marriage.

What does a Cohabitation Agreement do?

A Cohabitation Agreement protects both partners in a relationship and minimises conflict in the event of a breakup. The agreement can cover topics such as:

  • Separate assets: property or items one partner owns and retains all respective rights of ownership to after a breakup
  • Shared assets: property or items both parties own that are divided after a breakup in whichever way is outlined in their Cohabitation Agreement
  • Debt obligations: joint debts that both parties are responsible for in the event of a breakup (e.g., co-signed loans or real estate)
  • Maintenance payments: financial support that one party might give the other as outlined in the Cohabitation Agreement

Who should have a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Cohabitation Agreement is suitable for any couple who wants to remain unmarried while also having some similar rights to those of a married couple. They’re also useful for cohabiting couples who want to keep their individual debts separate from each other.

A Cohabitation Agreement also provides security if a partner passes away. It allows one partner to add to or restrict the other partner’s inheritance in combination with their Last Will and Testament.

How do I create a Cohabitation Agreement in Ireland?

You can create a Cohabitation Agreement by completing LawDepot’s questionnaire. Using our template ensures you complete the following necessary steps.

1. State if you and your partner already live together

Start your Cohabitation Agreement by stating if you and your partner already live together. If you do, include the shared property’s address and when you moved in.

2. You and your partner provide your details

Include the names and genders of you and your partner in your Cohabitation Agreement.

3. Outline how household expenses will be split

Outline how you and your partner will split household expenses. If you won’t be splitting the expenses evenly, specify how they will be divided between the two of you. It’s common for cohabiting couples to decide on a percentage of the expenses each partner will be responsible for, or to assign specific expenses to each of you.

Household expenses can include:

  • Mortgage or rent
  • Utilities
  • Phone
  • TV (i.e., cable or satellite)
  • Internet
  • Groceries
  • Property tax

If you’re using a joint bank account to pay your bills, also specify how much money each partner will contribute to the account per month.

4. Create a list of separate and shared assets/debts (if applicable)

If you and your partner have noteworthy assets or debts, attach a list or include them in your Cohabitation Agreement.

Separate assets or debts

Separate assets or debt are owned by only one partner in a cohabiting relationship. The owner retains control and responsibility of it in the event of a breakup. In other words, there will be no question as to who legally owns the asset or debt or whether the other party is entitled to it.

Shared assets or debts

Shared assets or debts are items, property, bank accounts, or loans you and your partner co-own or share responsibility for. In the event of a breakup, you can either divide the assets or debt between the two of you or one party can pay half of the value to the other party.

Shared assets can include real estate, vehicles, bank accounts or credit cards, furniture, or any other possessions you co-own with a partner.

It’s a good idea to specify how you’ll divide joint debt even if you currently don’t have any.

5. State if children are involved

Dependent children are biological or adopted children that the parents have a legal obligation to support. State if you and your spouse have any dependent children together or from a previous relationship.

Parents have a legal responsibility to financially support dependent children. A child is dependent if they are under the age of 18 years old. The age rises to 23 years old if they’re in full-time education. Maintenance can also be applied if the child is over 18 and under 23 and they wish to attend further education, but are financially unable to do so.

If the child has a mental or physical disability to such a degree that it won’t be possible for the child to maintain themselves fully, then there is no age limit for seeking maintenance for their support. Each party must disclose their finances to a court which will ultimately consider all of the family’s circumstances when making a maintenance order.

6. Indicate if maintenance payments will be made in the event of a breakup

Maintenance is financial support from one spouse to the other in the event one of them can’t meet their own reasonable expenses after their relationship has come to an end.

You and your partner can agree that one of you will pay maintenance to the other. If you can’t agree and apply to the court for maintenance, the party seeking financial support must demonstrate that they’re unable to adequately support themselves and their partner is reasonably able to support them.

In order to qualify for maintenance, the partner seeking financial support must have been cohabiting with their partner for at least five years or at least two years if they have had a child with their partner.

7. Outline any additional clauses

Include any additional terms or conditions that your Cohabitation Agreement doesn't already cover. For example, you may want to clarify what happens to any co-owned pets.

8. Provide the signing details

State when the parties will sign the Cohabitation Agreement and if it will be signed in front of a practising solicitor/Commissioner of Oaths. If it isn’t, include how many witnesses will be present for the signing.

How do I end a Cohabitation Agreement?

To end a Cohabitation Agreement, you and your partner simply need to divide your assets and debt as specified by your agreement and go your separate ways. You may need to inform some people and organizations (e.g., landlord, tax office, utility companies, etc.), but there isn’t a formal process to ending a Cohabitation Agreement.

Related Documents:

  • Prenuptial Agreement: sort out current and future financial and property matters prior to marriage.
  • Separation Agreement: divide assets and responsibilities after a marriage comes to an end.
  • Health Care Directive: specify the types of treatments you consent to and appoint someone to make decisions for you, should you be unable to express your personal health wishes.
  • Last Will and Testament: express how your assets will be distributed after your death.
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