January 01, 2019 | Posted by : J Morris
Unmarried couples who live together do not automatically have the same legal rights as married couples, and when it comes to separation, sorting out the division of finances, property and assets can be tricky.
If your situation isn’t straightforward, it’s important to get legal advice on what you may be entitled to, and how to reach an agreement with your ex for a fair resolution.
The most common causes for dispute between cohabiting couples during separation are:
Handling finances (including dealing with any shared debts)
Splitting assets such as property (particularly if only one of you is named on the deeds)
Making children’s arrangements
When it comes to finances and assets, a ...
August 27, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
There are almost 7 million cohabitants in England and Wales, but many unmarried couples are unaware that their partnership is not eligible for basic legal protection – particularly when it comes to separation, children’s issues, and will disputes. Under current legislation, cohabiting couples are not, unfortunately, afforded the same protections as married couples, and must be careful to take steps to assert their legal rights.
The best way to do this is with a cohabitation agreement – a formal document much like a prenuptial agreement – which sets out the potential division of assets, share of property, and intentions for co-parenting in the event of separation. Other legal protections, such as a will, ...
May 20, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
There are over three million unmarried couples in the UK and ‘cohabitation’ is the current largest growing family type, but people in ‘common law’ marriages remain unprotected by the rights married couples are automatically entitled to when it comes to separation.
There is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage – unmarried couples who live together are cohabitants – and there are very few recourses in place to protect them should they decide to part ways unless they have set up the proper legal documentation during their relationship, such as a cohabitation agreement.
When a married couple decides to get divorced, their assets and liabilities will be considered by the court and divided ...
November 02, 2017 | Posted by : J Morris
The latest divorce statistics from the Office for National Statistics reveal the results of data on UK marriages and divorces in 2016, showing the first notable increase in divorce between opposite-sex couples since 2009, though overall the divorce rate has remained fairly steady. According to the ONS report there were a total of 106,959 opposite-sex divorces in the UK in 2016 – a 5.8% increase from 2015. However, divorce rates in opposite-sex couples are still 30% lower than the most recent peak in 2003, and 3.8% lower than in 2014. Other significant findings include the most common grounds for divorce, the average age and duration of divorce, and new statistics regarding same-sex divorce since the legalisation of same-sex marriage in ...
April 27, 2017 | Posted by : J Morris
Under the current UK family law system, unmarried couples who live together (also known as ‘cohabitants’) do not automatically have the same legal rights as married couples, and this can cause particular problems when it comes to the ownership and division of property.
Married couples, and those in a civil partnership, are ascribed certain automatic property rights, regardless of how much each of them contributed to its cost or maintenance. However, for cohabiting couples the situation can be more complicated if a property is not jointly owned or they do not have a declaration of trust in place.
A declaration of trust details each party’s share in a property, and can be used as a way to protect the investment should ...
March 24, 2017 | Posted by : J Morris
First things first, let’s get a common misconception out of the way:
There is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage!
Living with your partner makes you cohabitants, but this kind of relationship is not automatically recognised in the same way as a marriage or civil partnership when it comes to English law, and will not provide you with equivalent rights or protection. The only way to protect your partner and your interests in an unmarried relationship is to draw up a cohabitation agreement and an up to date Will.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
A cohabitation agreement acts in a similar way to a prenuptial agreement, detailing your intentions in regard to your finances, children’s issues, ownership ...
September 26, 2015 | Posted by : J Morris
When unmarried, cohabiting couples separate, divorce is obviously not an option, but there are several out-of-court alternatives for dispute resolution, including mediation – a popular choice for couples who wish to settle their affairs with dignity and cooperation.
If you’ve been living with your partner as a cohabiting couple and have decided to separate, you may find the legalities of dividing up your assets more complicated than you expected. Despite recent changes to family law, cohabiting couples are still not awarded ...
September 22, 2015 | Posted by : J Morris
It’s important for cohabitants to keep an up to date Will to include their partner, since living together as an unmarried couple does not automatically grant you the right to inherit each other’s estate. However, according to the National Consumer Council, only 17% of cohabitants have made a Will – if you’re one of the remaining 83%, book an appointment with your family law solicitor and get yours sorted ASAP!
Under current laws, unmarried couples are not entitled to each other’s estate unless they are specifically named on their partner’s Will. If you don’t have ...
September 13, 2015 | Posted by : J Morris
Moving in with your partner is one of those milestones that can make or break a relationship. There are so many positives to cohabitation (spending more time together, halving your bills, having someone to cook you dinner once in a while!) but there are also a few hurdles to clear first, such as the stresses of moving, learning to live with each other’s little habits, and arguing over DIY…
On a more serious note, it’s important to take your financial situation into consideration as a cohabiting couple – there’s no such thing as ‘common law marriage’, and your assets won’t necessarily be ...
September 07, 2015 | Posted by : J Morris
If you live with your partner, are unmarried, and want to have financial stability in the (hopefully unlikely) event that the relationship comes to an end, then the answer is a resounding YES! A cohabitation agreement provides you with a legally binding set of provisions detailing what each of you has contributed to the relationship, and a framework for how you would divide your assets should you go your separate ways. Unfortunately, cohabiting couples are not awarded the same legal rights as married couples, or couples in civil partnerships, so having a legal contract in place ensures that you don’t end up high and dry, or fighting through a lengthy court process to claim what ...