Moving in with someone you have chosen to spend your life with is exciting, but as you start your lives together, you’re not likely to be considering your legal rights, or how you’re going to split the bills. You’re surely not likely to be thinking about what would happen to your home, furniture, bills etc. if you split up. Living together may seem like an attractive prospect but legally it can be a nightmare because your relationship is not recognised by law. This is because “common law” relationship isn’t recognised by South-African law. Similar to a couple married out of community of property, co-habiting couples must make sure that if they want ownership of particular assets; they register them in their own names, even if they are gifts. This might all seem complicated, but it does not have to be.
So how do you protect yourself, your partner and each of your assets, should you decide to move in together? You need a co-habitation agreement.
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