Living Together (Cohabitation)
Cohabitation is the legal term for a couple living together without being married or in a civil partnership.
Many couples who live together believe that they are protected by “common law” without being married. There is no such thing as “common law marriage”, and therefore you can not claim the protection of the law should your relationship fail. Many unmarried couples do not realise how unprotected they are.
Where parties are married, both are entitled to bring a financial claim against the other person’s assets, including pensions. If, however, a separating couple are not married, this can place one party at a financial disadvantage. There is no automatic right to make financial claims for support from the ex-partner. It is therefore the case that if you have given up a career to raise children with your partner but have chosen not to marry, in the event the relationship breaks down, you could be in a vulnerable position and your ex partner will not be obliged to support you other than provide child maintenance for any child or children you may have had together.
Even in cases where one party has paid towards the mortgage instalments after moving into their partners home, there are no guarantees that they will receive a share of the equity to compensate them following a separation.
If you have been living with your partner and your relationship has broken down, please talk to us. There are some remedies for unmarried people who have been living with their partner and are now experiencing the end of their relationship. Financial applications to court on behalf of children can be made under The Children Act 1989, together with claims relating to the family home under The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
How can I protect myself if I am living with my partner but we are not married?
If you are already living together, or are thinking about moving in together you should consider a Cohabitation Agreement. A Cohabitation Agreement can set out your plans and intentions relating to financial outgoings, plans for any property, and how any children will be provided for in the event of a separation.
If your partner is moving into your home that you may have owned for some time before your relationship began, the Cohabitation Agreement can also record whether your partner will be acquiring an interest in your property.
If required, the Agreement can record that your partner understands they have no interest in your property that you may have worked very hard to acquire.
It is important that you seek advice in relation to your situation and you can talk to us in confidence by calling us or emailing email@example.com