The law treats unmarried couples differently to married couples. The area of law relating to cohabitation is quite complex and we can help couples who decide to live together and not marry by resolving any legal issues or by preventing future problems by advising on entering into a cohabitation agreement. We can advise on matters such as maintenance, property and children.
Many people still think that if they live together with a partner (whether opposite or same sex) for a certain amount of time they will automatically have rights against that person under a “common law marriage”. This is not true. If your relationship breaks down and you are not married to that person, your claims against them will be more limited than those of a married couple.
If there are children of the relationship you may be able to make financial claims for maintenance and support, through the Child Support Agency and/or the Courts.
If you own a property jointly with your ex partner, or even if you are not a legal owner but you made contributions to the property whether directly or indirectly, you may have a claim for a share of that property, and you may be able to apply to court to force or postpone a sale of the property and for the size of your share to be determined.
We can also advise you on cohabitation agreements, which are contracts between you and your partner aimed at providing clarification at the outset as to what you have agreed will take effect in the event of a future separation.
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