Cohabitation: Law, Practice and Precedents 8th edition

Authors: James Cook, Helen Wood, Ashley Murray, David Salter

Publisher: Lexis Nexis

Publication date: July 2020

Format: Hardback + CD

Price: £139


The numbers of unmarried cohabiting couples continue to increase, with the result that the law and practice relating to this area continues to grow insignificance for family and private client lawyers. This new edition of Cohabitation: Law Practice and Precedents has been extensively revised to take account of all procedural developments, as well as analysis of significant case-law.

Whether preparing a cohabitation contract or pre-nuptial agreement, drafting wills for cohabiting couples, advising on rights on the breakdown of a relationship or the death of a partner, or applying for a personal protection order or a parental responsibility agreement, practitioners will find authoritative analysis of the applicable law and expert guidance on procedural issues.

Cohabitation: Law, Practice and Precedents is the only work on the subject to provide commentary, checklists, procedural guides and precedents in a single volume making it an invaluable aid to all practitioners advising unmarried couples.

Essential reading for all practitioners who advise unmarried couples:

  • Solicitors and Barristers practising in both family and private client law
  • Family mediators
  • Accountants
  • Financial advisers


  • Property
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Taxation of Unmarried Couples
  • Personal Protection
  • Children
  • Death and Succession
  • Pension Rights of Cohabitants
  • Pre-nuptial Agreements
  • Cohabitation and Welfare Benefits


“… the book takes a multi-disciplinary approach to this often vexed subject … contains vital material new to this eition … Scholarly, thorough and readable, this is a book designed with the needs of the busy practitioner in mind. Its extensive resources for further research include tables of cases, statutes, statutory instruments and international material … if you’re advising cohabiting couples on any aspect of law, this book, particularly in this new edition, should be regarded as a definitive guide to the subject and an essential purchase …
Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

“Readers will welcome this comprehensive and authoritative work on an area of human interaction which is gaining social prominence and legal importance”

“Makes for a timely fifth edition of Jordans’ Cohabitation: Law, Practice and Precedents, which presents an important vision of things to come. Written by leasers in their field, representing both practitioners and the judiciary, the book brings together all the many legal and practical issues practitioners face when advising cohabitating clients, those considering cohabiting, or those experiencing issues with cohabiting members of their family or others with whom they encounter legal issues. The legal treatment of such relationships is frequently less clear than with those clients in formal unions, and this book distils that treatment into navigable chapters and sensible commentary which is both up-to-date and comprehensive, and in a manner which can be easily worked into a form a lay client will understand and appreciate. This authors clearly had clients in mind when producing this work, which makes life easier for the practitioner”

“The ‘Procedural Guides’ section provides readers with a mine of up-to-date information on a number of issues related to cohabitation, and must surely answer any question a practitioner new to this area may have. Similarly, the checklists and precedents (both non-contentious and contentious) bring together signposts and substantive documents, which are both user-friendly (a soft copy on CD) and invaluable”
PS, Private Client Magazine, Law Society, September 2012, Issue 101

“There is all the armoury for practitioners to advise unmarried couples … contains precedents for almost any situation
ALC Newsletter

“A very good buy … not just for family lawyers”
New Law Journal

“set out in a helpful and clear format … the style is clear … There is no doubt that the authors have provided a ‘clear and authoritative exposition of the law’, as the Foreword suggests. It is both comprehensive in its range and thorough in its detail, succeeding in elucidating an often complex area of law and offering the busy practitioner a helpful guide to the procedures and practicalities involved in advising and acting for their cohabitant clients”
Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law

“From its first, pioneering, appearance nearly twenty years ago, Wood et al continues to raise its game through each successive edition. With the additions of Judge Eames, a foreword by Judge Eleanor King and a new section on welfare benefits, all contributing to a 23%-plus increase in size, this one is well worth the extra fiver over the 4th (1999) edition. As before, the idea is that ‘prevention is better than cure’ (Preface). The main raison d’etre of a new edition is, of course, to take advantage of developments since the previous one and this is seen from Rebecca Probert’s ‘Introduction’ all the way to ‘Miscellaneous’ via ‘Law and Practice’, ‘Cohabitation Agreements’ (still not ‘Contracts’?), ‘Taxation of Unmarried Couples’, ‘Personal Protection’, ‘Children’, ‘Death and Succession’, ‘Pension Rights and Cohabitants’, ‘Ante-Nuptial Agreements’ and ‘Cohabitation and Welfare Benefits’….Accurate accounts of the current law – together with its precedents – have always been the hallmark of this work which, in recent editions, has also become more accessible and contextual. But it as a classic law book that it triumphs. Matters are clearly, logically and comprehensively described with helpful headings and sub-headings
CHRIS BARTON, Emeritus Professor of Family Law, Academic Door Tenant at Regent Chambers and a Vice-President of the Family Mediators Association