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Cohabitation: not a common law marriage

Cohabitation: Not a common law marriage - BES Legal LTD
The cohabiting couple family is the largest growing family type in the UK with 3.3 million couples in 2017 choosing to live this way according to the ONS. This is a sharp increase compared to the previous 10 years. Most people assume that couples who live together have the same legal protection as married couples. However, this is not the case as there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’ no matter how long you have lived together. Despite the increase in people choosing to live together rather than marry, there is no law to help those who choose not to get married or enter a civil partnership. Therefore, some cohabiting families can face real difficulties should they separate or if one partner passes away. Where a relationship breaks down unless there are written agreements in place, claims relating to; ownership of property, financial settlements, children and maintenance payments are not enforceable in the same way as for those involving married couples. We recommend that any couples who decide to live together consider what steps they should take in order to plan for the future and this includes considering a formal Cohabitation Agreement. This would set out how a couple shares their finances whilst living together and what would happen in the future if one of you dies or the relationship breaks down. The agreement can be as straight forward or as detailed as you wish and you can take comfort in the knowledge that you are both protected. If you would like to discuss the options available to you, please call one of our family law solicitors on 0330 124 7474.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information and discussion. Nothing on this blog should be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified solicitor regarding any actual legal issue or dispute. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a solicitor-client relationship. Please note that we cannot give advice on individual’s situations or problems on this blog