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Cohabitation Agreements

The concept of a ‘common law’ husband or wife no longer exists in South African Law. As such, there are no legal obligations or rights which attach to unmarried persons who live together or find themselves in long term relationships in South Africa, even if they financially support one another during the relationship.

Some couples may therefore wish to formalise their living arrangements by entering into what is known as a ‘Cohabitation Agreement’.

A Cohabitation Agreement can regulate any number of things such as – how property jointly acquired by the parties will be dealt with in the event of the relationship breaking down or which party will leave the common home in such an instance.

It is recommended that such an agreement is entered into when unmarried couples live together or acquire property together.

Although such an agreement can be drafted by the parties themselves, it is likely that one drafted with the assistance of an Attorney would be regarded as more valid.

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