Lewis Hulatt, South East Consultant with Major Family Law, the family and children specialist solicitors, comments as follows:-

I was online last week when the Manchester disaster was unfolding and afterwards, felt angry at the senseless hurt caused to so many people. Somebody with great wisdom spotted the aptness of a song by perhaps the greatest Britpop band to come out of Manchester.

Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ was a near-perfect choice for Manchester, as local lad Noel Gallagher’s lyrics have so much to express about moving on positively.

Music deals with experience and another song that hit me last week was Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’ dealing with a relationship in adversity.

It struck me because it contained a truth about the precariousness of hope and recently, we have had a lot of unmarried family break-ups to resolve.   Despite many couples splitting, hardly anybody enters into a ‘Cohabitation (Living Together) Agreement’.

The general law divides the proceeds when a jointly-owned property is (eventually) sold, but judges lack the discretion to achieve overall ‘fairness’. Dealing with joint bank accounts, arrangements for triggering a sale, who should pay what and what should happen if one person leaves are all terms that can be more easily agreed when the couple are well-disposed towards each other.

Sadly although many of their sales are from couples splitting up, too few property lawyers encourage buyers to have Agreements.   However, even if the purchase has completed, a binding Agreement could be prepared while people are amicable.

A formal Agreement helps people articulate understandings, so ask us about some preventative medicine rather than seek our help when it has gone wrong.

Without an agreement, you are hoping that if you separate you will both be reasonable.   In our extensive experience, that really is ‘Living On A Prayer’…