Increasingly, couples are choosing to live together without getting married or entering into a civil partnership.
Lots of people believe that there is such a thing as ‘common law marriage’, i.e. if you are in a relationship and live together for a certain amount of time then you are in the same legal position as people who are married or in a civil partnership. This common misconception can lead to a nasty shock when cohabiting relationships end, sometimes resulting in lengthy and expensive legal disputes.
Unfortunately, the law which relates to cohabiting couples is rather outdated. This means that the protection for unmarried couples who live together is limited if the relationship ends. The legal arrangements and rights that apply are not the same or as extensive as those which apply to partners separating at the end of a marriage. This is the case even if their relationship mirrors all aspects of a marriage.
It is therefore important that you get the right legal advice about your rights and responsibilities. Our cohabitation solicitors are able to provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of cohabitation, whether you are at the beginning of a new relationship or if your relationship has come to an end.
Cohabitation agreements can cover how interests in property are held, who pays for what when you are living together and how property and assets should be divided if the relationship ends.
Arguments about finances are one of the main causes of breakups. Having a cohabitation agreement in place can really help to avoid any disagreements over these issues during the relationship as well as protect you in the case of the relationship ending.
We can help to negotiate and draft up a cohabitation agreement for you, tailored to your specific circumstances, with the aim of protecting your position as far as possible.