Cohabiting Couples are the Fastest Growing Family Type
The Office for National Statistics Reports that cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type. The legal framework however for protecting couples legal rights can be woefully inadequate with many people falling foul of what they perceive their rights to be when a relationship ends.
Myths remain around non-legal concepts such as common-law husband or wife or that somehow you acquire property rights by living with someone for more than six months.
As practitioners we come across distressing cases all the time where the law has failed to give a person meaningful protection, even if one partner has given up work to care for children, or has contributed to supporting their partner in their career or the establishment of a successful business. Often this contribution and sacrifice will not be recognised in law, especially if the children have grown up and left home.
Living Together – It Should Be As Safe As Houses
Pitfalls exist where the other party owns the property in their sole name. There is no automatic right to stay there if asked to leave, nor will you be automatically entitled to a financial share in the house even if you have helped to pay for it over several years.
You will not be entitled to a share of your partner’s financial assets, their pension or maintenance (child maintenance is different), even if you gave up your job to look after the children while he or she went out to build a successful and lucrative career.
The law surrounding cohabitee disputes can be complicated, costly and the case law built up in this area can often be contradictory. However, we can provide you with clear, straightforward advice on how best to protect your position if you are just about to set up living with your partner, or what you can do whilst still in your relationship.
We can also help at the end of the relationship, guiding you through the law and setting out a plan of action to maximise your chances of securing a favourable outcome.
Whilst we appreciate couples that are starting out of in their first home together may feel uncomfortable about having this type of conversation, it is key, where possible to protect yourself longer term should the relationship not work out.
Our dedicated six strong, fully qualified team of Family Law Solicitors are here to assist you in advising you of your options and even how to approach the conversation with your partner.Cohabitation
Contact Matt at [email protected] or a member of his family team on Ipswich 01473 213311 or Colchester 01206 584584 or email us at [email protected], alternatively if you would prefer a call back visit our web site and click “Call me Back”, me or a member of my team will be happy to contact you at your convenience.