Q&As

Where two cohabitants (who have no children) are to separate and have agreed that one party shall pay regular monthly payments to the other, would the agreement be enforceable (presuming it is made by deed, that each party having had the benefit of legal advice and entered into it freely)? What would the most appropriate enforcement mechanism be in the event of default by the payer?

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Produced in partnership with Tori Adams of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 27/11/2019

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Tori Adams of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where two cohabitants (who have no children) are to separate and have agreed that one party shall pay regular monthly payments to the other, would the agreement be enforceable (presuming it is made by deed, that each party having had the benefit of legal advice and entered into it freely)? What would the most appropriate enforcement mechanism be in the event of default by the payer?

Cohabitants setting out their intentions in relation to property and assets post-separation may enter into a deed of separation (see Precedent: Cohabitants—deed of separation). These are often used by cohabitants to set out a plan of action for the future.

A deed is a specific type of contract. In order for a document to be a deed the following formalities must be met (per section 1 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989):

  1. it must be in writing

  2. it must be clear on the face of it that the document is a deed, for example if the document described itself as a deed

  3. the deed must be validly executed as a deed, which means it must be signed, attested to by a witness and delivered as a deed—delivery requires that the person expressly, or impliedly acknowledges, an intention to be bound either by words or conduct

If all of the formalities are met then a deed is usually binding on all pa

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