How to talk to your
partner about a
Moving in with your partner is a big step
With these laws in place it may not just be a simple matter of shacking up and moving on
when the time comes.
Legally you are considered a “de facto couple” and Australian law
grants rights comparable to those of a married couples.
This means that if your relationship lasts longer than 2 years then either
party can apply to the Court for:-
Orders for the division of your combined property
Orders for spousal maintenance
Laying your cards on the table
A Cohabitation Agreement (or Financial Agreement) is a legal tool that you can use
how assets and liabilities are owned;
in what proportions; and
what should happen if the relationship ends.
This type of agreement acts as a foundation for the relationship providing security for
both parties and helping you avoid misunderstandings and disputes.
Talking about a Cohabitation Agreement
It can sometimes be a little awkward talking about a Financial Agreement especially if
one partner has a greater asset pool. It’s important to approach the subject gently,
keeping these 4 tips in mind.
Plan ahead – choose a time carefully
Don’t cover everything at once – Keep it Simple
Be prepared to answer why it’s
important to you
Stay calm, fair and respectful
Don’t surprise your Partner with a completed agreement to sign
Apart from the fact that it is likely to scare your partner it can affect the validity of the agreement.
Financial Agreements are a collaborative process and they work most effectively when both partners
The law is very clear in its intention that a Financial Agreement must not be made under undue
pressure or duress.
Timing Get the timing right
Schedule a time
Let your partner know you have something important to discuss and schedule a time when you will
both be calm and distraction free.
Keep the discussions short and simple
Don’t try to cover everything at once and if the discussion becomes emotional or heated, agree to
stop and meet again at another time. Having regular short meetings is better because it gives both
parties the chance to digest what has been discussed without becoming overwhelmed.
Start simple Start
Realise it can be a process
Your first discussions might be broader or more philosophical as you come to an agreement about
why the document is required. Once you have that meeting of the minds you can start fleshing out
Your partner may not know very much about a Cohabitation Agreement and may
question why it is necessary.
Have an answer for why? Address
Having an answer prepared in advance allows you to express your thoughts clearly so you can
address their concerns. For example, you might say…
“This house is all I was left with after the divorce. I’d like to sit down and talk about how we will
handle ownership and any future renovations and expenses,” or
“I am thinking about how we will handle our joint finances when we move in together. We seem to
have different spending styles, how are we going to work that out?"
Talking about finances can make people emotional if they feel like their security is threatened.
Remember you are talking to someone you love and stay calm.
Set up some rules for the discussions
Agree that if things become heated you will stop and re-convene at another time. Agree not to shout
at each other or any other rules that will help you both feel heard and understood.
Stay calm, fair and respectful Stay
We consider it our job to de-mystify the law and legal contracts.
We firmly believe that there are many times in life where you can enjoy the protection of a well
written legal contract without spending a fortune in legal fees. Because of this, our aim is to make
it easy for you to solve common legal issues that crop up in life.
We have been at the forefront of a movement to make legal services more affordable for average
Australians by providing tools and back up support that empower people to take control of their
own legal matters.
Knowledge is power and even more so when it comes to legal matters.
Need more information?
Go to www.peacefulpath.com.au or Call us on Freecall 1800 608 088
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