Cohabitation: What to Prepare Before Living Together

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At a certain point in our lives, we’d want to settle down with a spouse. While some couples are willing to commit to being married, some individuals just want to settle down with a partner without getting married. Financially, living together means that you won’t have to spend much on a marriage ceremony.

As society becomes even more progressive, the idea of cohabitation is becoming even more prevalent. Couples that are cohabiting is the fastest-growing type of family in the United Kingdom. In 10 years, the population rose by 8%, with cohabiting couples being one of the major contributors. 

While moving together with a partner might have some benefits, it is still a time-consuming process that might take weeks to prepare. Creating a checklist of things that you and your partner will need to agree on can help make the process easier and smoother. 

Legal Differences

But right before we get into the checklist of moving together, it’s always logical to check with your legal firm first. 

For formality’s sake, there is no legal definition of cohabiting with your partner; it merely refers to living together. Another fancy way of saying that these couples are living together would be common-law partners.

However, there are still ways of being to make the status official with a partner through legal agreements. In some instances, a cohabitation contract will draw up the rights and obligations of each of the partners. This legal agreement is often called a ‘declaration of trust.’ 

If ever you and your partner decide to move in together, then you can seek help from legal professionals. There are some good solicitors that you can get a hold of. 

When it comes to marriage, you’ll need to at least have one of the two documents: 

  • A copy that is certified within the United Kingdom’s register of marriages
  • A marriage certificate that took place where the marriage took place

When moving abroad, the status of being married or not will depend on the law of the country. For example, if you’re in the United States, marriages that are performed outside American soil are also legitimate in the eyes of the law in the country. 

Checklist Before Moving In 

Now that we know the legal differences between merely living together with your partner and getting married, we’ll need to start preparing for the set-up. 

Responsibility As A Parent 

As a parent, you have a responsibility to ensure the safety and sustenance of your child. If you’ve just had a divorce, you will have to make arrangements with the father on where they will be spending time. Often, both parties will be able to reach a verdict, but there will be times that communications between both will break down. As such, having the assistance of a family court can help. 

If you or your partner has a son or a daughter, then the parent can dictate essential decisions on the health of the child. 

Appliances and Funds

Of course, you’ll need to have a checklist of all the appliances and furniture that you’ll need in your new place. In your previous home, be sure to unplug any outlets and devices to avoid any structural hazards for the next set of inhabitants. 


Moving in

Lastly, right before you’re living with your partner, you have to be transparent with almost every aspect of your life. In essence, you will need to have frank and vulnerable conversations. Answering some of the toughest questions will help your partner build trust with you.

  • What are some questions that you can ask? Here are some upfront questions:
  • Where do you see our relationship going in the next few years?
  • What’s the long-term goal of our relationship?
  • Do we have the necessary monetary means of staying together in the long-run?
  • Are you willing to transition towards marriage or not?

While these might be tough questions, it will help determine your standing with your partner. It’s also worth noting to pace yourself and not rush your partner into answering right away. Sometimes, these types of questions need to be thought through. When emotions run high, the best time to think about decisions is to remain calm and collected. 

Of course, there’s more to moving in with your partner than just these three aspects. If you’re from another part of town, you might need to sort any debt, contracts, and any agreements that you might have before moving out. The last thing that you want right after moving in is getting into legal entanglements from unfinished businesses. 

Right before moving in, both you and your partner must be mentally-prepared for a long-term expectation. While spirits might be high when moving in, living with a partner is all about consistency and being able to manage your home well. The key to almost every relationship is both parties willing to communicate any issues, grievances, and plans. In general, living together as a couple will yield fewer rights than getting married. 

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