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Cohabitation and Separation for Unmarried Couples

We are experienced lawyers with in depth knowledge on such cases

Cohabitation and Separation for Unmarried Couples

Cohabitation & Separation for Unmarried Couples

Our expert team of Family Law specialists have in depth knowledge of this complex area of law and can offer advice and representation in relation to all issues concerning cohabitation and unmarried couples.

It is increasingly common for couples to cohabit without marrying or forming a civil partnership.  Cohabiting relationships are the fastest growing family type in the UK. There is a common misconception of the ‘common law spouse’, however, couples who reside together even on a long term basis do not have the same legal rights as a married couple upon the breakdown of the relationship.

Our team can provide advice to safeguard your interests or if the relationship has already broken down:

Cohabitation Agreements

A cohabitation agreement records arrangements between two or more people who have agreed to live together, as a couple or otherwise. The agreement details each party’s rights and responsibilities in relation to the property where they live or intend to live together, financial arrangements between them, both during and following cohabitation, child arrangements and how the assets should be distributed upon the breakdown of the relationship.

A cohabitation agreement can avoid the cost and stress of lengthy court proceedings upon the breakdown of the relationship.

We regularly draft and advise on cohabitation agreements. It is important to ensure that legal advice is obtained, and that the agreement is drafted correctly to ensure the agreement is upheld in the event of a dispute.

Property Disputes

If the relationship has broken down and there is a property involved, it is important to obtain legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

In the first instance, attempts should be made to try to resolve matters through agreement without resorting to court proceedings.

If it is not possible to resolve the dispute through negotiation, an application can be made to court under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

The court has the power to declare each person’s share in the property taking into consideration the parties’ intentions and contributions.  This could arise in a situation where the property is jointly owned or solely owned by one party. The court also has the power to order the sale of the property, if appropriate.

Financial Provision for children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989

Schedule 1 claims enable the parent with the care of the child to apply to court for financial provision from the other parent for the benefit of a child. The court must make a range of financial orders including lump sum orders, transfer of property orders and maintenance.

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