There are many myths surrounding the law on couples living together. Let us debunk the first one: there is no such thing as a common law spouse! On separation, a court will not confer the same rights and obligations that it can on divorce. There is effectively limited and in some cases no protection for the financially weaker party in the relationship.
If you are living with someone but not married to them, did you know that:
- Neither of you has an automatic claim on the other’s property upon death or separation?
- Being the mother of your partner’s children does not give you any right to maintenance for yourself?
- Despite being their father, you may have no automatic right to see your children, or have parental responsibility in respect of them?
- Property issues between you can only be dealt with using complicated property and trust laws?
Whilst we are able to advise and assist on relationship breakdown, we also offer advice for couples who are already or about to start living together. Indeed, you may wish to consider the drawing up of a Living Together Agreement, which can make your respective positions more secure. They specify the terms on which you share your home, other property, income and expenditure and, more importantly, specify what would happen in the event of a break-up.
We also have an outstanding wills and probate team who can advise you on inheritance rights for you and your partner.
Too many couples separate only to find out that they have no automatic rights when it comes to property or finances. To prevent the unexpected from happening, contact us today for more information on how we can help you.