Unmarried Couples

The Law that deals with unmarried couples on cohabitation, separation or death can be very different.

Where a couple are not married, neither partner has any automatic rights or entitlement if the relationship breaks down or one partner dies. This is so regardless of the length of their relationship.

The concepts of the “common law marriage” is a myth but is one that is still regularly used and is misleading. It is therefore vital to seek legal advice about your separation to ensure that you are fully protected

What Happens If My Relationship Breaks Down Or My Partner Dies?

In both cases, neither party has any automatic entitlement to anything that belonged to the other partner. This is so even if the relationship was a long one or there are children to consider. Our family lawyers understand, therefore, that this is a situation that can cause vulnerability and injustice.

Our family lawyers regularly advise on:

  • The rights in respect of cohabitation, including the preparation of cohabitation agreements;
  • Claims in respect of properties, whether those are owned jointly or by one of the partners (under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996);
  • Protecting and preserving assets or contributions to property or properties;
  • Protecting gifts from parents or grandparents or other family members;
  • Disputes about belongings and contents;
  • The preparation of separation agreements;
  • Financial provision on behalf of children.

What Do I Need To Do Next?

If you are considering living together then our family lawyers will be able to advise you about the financial consequences of that and set out your wishes in a cohabitation agreement to provide for certainty in the event that the relationship does not go as planned.

Following separation, our family lawyers will be able to advise you as to the best way to seek financial provision or to preserve your assets and resources for you and your family.

We can assist you with negotiations and reaching agreements, refer you to family mediators or deal with your case by Collaborative Law as well as providing representation in Court.

How Can Timms Help?

If you would like to discuss any queries with one of our specialist family lawyers, please don’t hesitate to get in contact. You can call us on 0800 011 6666 or reach us by email at legal@timms-law.com.