With more and more couples in the UK choosing to live together rather than marry, it is commonly thought that cohabiting couples acquire similar rights and responsibilities to couples who marry.
In fact, there is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage in this country and, crucially, no legal standing for unmarried couples.
If you live with your partner but are not married or in a civil partnership, any rights and responsibilities are dependent on how various areas of law apply to your circumstances.
We would strongly advise all couples who plan to live together to enter into a cohabitation agreement.
This should set out in detail the arrangements for any children and what should happen to property and other assets in the event of separation.
If you are thinking about living with your partner, our qualified and experienced specialist solicitors in Plymouth can help.
About one in six couples in the UK choose to cohabit, rather than marry. However, as the law currently stands, couples who live together are not protected in the same way as married couples or civil partners, even if they share finances and raise children together.
This means that if your relationship breaks down, you do not have the same claims and rights as a married couple. You will not be regarded as a ‘common law’ husband or wife by the Courts.
Often, you may have some claims in relation to children and property but it is important that you get detailed legal advice to fully understand your options.
If you are concerned about your relationship breaking down, our qualified and experienced specialist solicitors in Plymouth can help.