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 claim against the other persons 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org