Update On Cohabitation and Unmarried Family banner


Update On Cohabitation and Unmarried Family

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The trend in the UK as regards what makes up a family has continued to evolve over the years. Thankfully, there are laws that cover different segments of the society. We are glad to help you through any challenge that you may face based on our unique expertise. Here are some basic facts that you must know as regards cohabitation and being part of an unmarried family.

If you are part of an unmarried couple and you live with your partner, the family law team at OTS Solicitors can provide the expert advice you need to understand your position. When parties live together the situation can be much more complex than many people assume. It is vital you are able to understand and protect yourself and be prepared for whatever the future might bring.

Despite what many people think, there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’ under the law of England and Wales. It is a myth that couples who have lived together for a long time or have children together are common law husband and wife and have rights and responsibilities equivalent to married couples. It is therefore imperative that if you live with a partner you have an understanding of what rights and responsibilities you do have.

Contact us today to discuss your situation if you are living together, considering living together, or having lived together are separating. At any stage we can advise you about your options. Simply call us or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Our Approach

At OTS, we are renowned for our commitment to every client.

We appreciate that it can be difficult to think about the future and what may or may not happen, but sorting out your rights and responsibilities at the outset of your living together relationship will only serve to help you in the long run.

If you are separating having lived together we can assist you in sorting out the consequences of your separation, providing clear advice.

We believe communication is of the utmost importance and we will happily answer any questions you may have.

Advice for Unmarried Couples

It is important for unmarried couples to seek expert advice regarding cohabitation because your rights can be a lot patchier and a lot less clear-cut than you may assume. There is no such a thing as a common law spouse. It is therefore vital that if you live with your partner and particularly if one or both of you own your home you have a real understanding of your legal position in respect of your home.

If you separate, or in the event of one partner dying, the law can lead to cohabiting couples losing out. However, this need not be the case if you have taken advice from an expert legal team.

Cohabitation Disputes

Cohabitation disputes can arise for all sorts of reasons and can centre on many different factors. Some of the more common circumstances, however, include:

  • Property claims

If you live with your partner and the two of you split up, it is not uncommon for separated couples to disagree on who has the right to live in the property they once shared/whether it should be sold/how any proceeds of sale should be divided. Property law can be highly complex and enlisting the help of a legal expert on the subject can make all of the difference as you look to protect your position.

  • Disputes involving children

Just as married couples can disagree about the arrangements for their children on separation so do parents who have been living together. We are able to advise in relation to the arrangements for your children. You can find out more about what help we can provide by contacting any member of our family law team today.

  • The Children Act 1989 and financial provision

In certain circumstances, the court is able to make financial orders to provide dependent children and the person caring for them with financial support, such as a home, if their parents are not married or in a civil partnership. We are able to advise on such matters to ensure your interests are protected.

Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation Agreements are often used by couples who are moving in together and who wish to sort out their arrangements whilst they are living together and in the event of their separation. We are able to help with these types of Agreements and you can find out more about our services in this area by sending us a message right now.

Relationship Breakdown for Cohabiting Couples

It is important to understand that cohabitees, no matter how long they have been living as husband or wife, are not afforded the same rights upon the breakdown of the relationship as those available on divorce. The law does not recognise “common law spouses”.

As a result, the breakdown of a relationship or the death of one party can be a financial disaster for a dependent cohabitee. There is no maintenance, and no automatic entitlement to make property, capital or pension claims. The children of such a relationship may be left at a financial disadvantage.

There are, however, some remedies, for example, applications may be made on behalf of the children under the Children Act 1989.

If you have not found what you are looking for, then please feel free to reach out to us.

We will be happy to advise you further, and to consider the position also if the relationship should end by the death of either party. For further information or to make an appointment, please contact the OTS family law Team today.

Contact Us Today

Get in touch with our family law team today to find out more about how we can help you. We are highly experienced in this often complex area of law and can provide the expert guidance you need. Either call us or complete our online enquiry form. Our services are available to people across the UK, and we have particular experience helping those in the Manchester, London, Chester and Cheshire areas.

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