The issue of legal rights for unmarried couples who live together is a complex and often misunderstood area of law. It is a common misconception that couples who have lived together for a certain amount of time or have children together are “common law married couples” and have the same legal protections as those who are married or in a civil partnership. However, this is not the case.
In fact, under the law of England and Wales, unmarried couples who live together are referred to as “cohabitees” and do not have the same legal protection in the event of a separation as those who are married or in a civil partnership. The implications of not fully understanding your legal rights can be serious, particularly regarding financial matters and property division in the event of a separation.
Given these complexities, it is important for cohabiting couples to be aware of their legal rights and to take steps to protect themselves and their children. An option could involve drawing up a Cohabitation Agreement, which sets out how property and other assets should be divided in the event of a separation.
By taking these steps, cohabiting couples can ensure that their best interests are protected and that they are not left vulnerable should a dispute arise following separation.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
With a Cohabitation Agreement, it is easier to determine what will happen to your property, money, and other assets in the event of a separation.
A Cohabitation Agreement is a legal document outlining the arrangements you and your partner have agreed upon regarding your property, money, and any childcare plans in case of a breakup. It can cover everything from who gets what regarding assets and who is responsible for any debts to how you will divide your household expenses and responsibilities. We also recommend that Cohabitation Agreement sets out any arrangements you will have with your pets following separation.
Cohabitation Agreement Solicitors
At Bridge McFarland LLP, we understand the importance of a Cohabitation Agreement. Our experienced family law solicitors can help you create a comprehensive Cohabitation Agreement tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. We can provide you with specialist legal advice on all aspects of cohabitation and other legal documents, so you can be confident that you are protected if anything unexpected happens in your relationship.
We can help couples with various cohabitation rights and disputes to protecting their legal rights. Our lawyers can help with:
- Cohabitation Agreements
- Wills for Cohabiting Couples
- Declarations of Trust
- Beneficial Ownership
- Cohabitation Disputes