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  • Family Law
  • Cohabitation

    You may have heard of the idea of “Common Law Marriage”. However, contrary to popular belief, it does not exist. This does not mean that you do not have any rights when your relationship comes to an end.

    Where the parties have children, the law is still clear and if you require information in relation to what should happen please click here .

    In relation to any property, whether the property is jointly or solely owned, it is possible for both parties to have rights to the property these can vary depending on:

    • Proven financial contributions made (this does not include household bills)
    • Verbal or written agreements regarding the share of the property
    • The details stated on any legal documentation – e.g. mortgage papers

    The outcome in relation to assets and property depends on the individual merits of the case and therefore the best course of action is to consult your solicitor for advice.

    If you jointly rent a property with your partner and one of you intends to remain in the property you must ensure that the tenancy is transferred to the party remaining in the home.

    Any other joint assets will need to be considered including bank accounts and household utility suppliers, so long as your name remains on any of the accounts you are liable for any monies outstanding and it is therefore important that you ensure that all financial obligations are dealt with.

    Cohabitation Agreement
    Cohabitees who, therefore, want certainty as to what assets they will be entitled to in the event of separation and who do not wish to become embroiled in later disputes are, therefore, advised to enter into what is known as a Cohabitation Agreement. Within such an agreement, cohabitees can set out their intended shares in a property and clarify ownership of their assets

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Will I have to go to Court?
    A: If it has not been possible to reach an agreement through either solicitors or mediation then it is likely that you will need to go to Court.

    Q: Will I be able to get Legal Aid?
    A: Legal Aid changed but is available in certain circumstances and if you think that you should be in receipt of Legal Aid please contact us to confirm your eligibility.