Unmarried couples

There is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage and cohabitants have very few rights that arise out of the relationship.

At JC Solicitors, we can assist you with the legal procedure and the practicalities that unmarried couples have to face upon the breakdown of their relationship. At JC Solicitors we can advise on the preventative measures you can take whilst you are still in a relationship and also deals with what might happen upon the breakdown of a relationship between cohabitants. The Law relating to unmarried couples is complex and addresses financial matters differently upon the breakdwon of a relationship than married couples.

If you are living with someone without being married you might think you have similar rights to married couples if the relationship breaks down or one of you dies. You would be wrong in thinking so.

There is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage and cohabitants have very few rights that arise out of the relationship. Accordingly, the courts have to deal with legal proceedings in a very different way for unmarried couples who are in dispute over their financial assets. The following is a list that unmarried couples need to be aware of:

  • There is no obligation for your ex partner to pay you maintenance (for your own benefit) – although if there are children involved then he/she will still have to pay maintenance for the children;
  • If you rent your home and the tenancy is in your ex-partners sole name, there is no automatic right for you to stay there;
  • If your ex-partner owns your home, and there is no other agreement in place to say otherwise, there is no automatic right for your to stay there;
  • If your partner/ex-partner dies without leaving a will, you will not automatically inherit anything from their estate, including the family home, if it is in their name, or if you own it as ‘Tenant’s in Common’

How much will it cost for legal assistance relating to unmarried couples?

If you are looking for advice or assistance as an unmarried couple, either wishing to enter into a cohabitation agreement or where a dispute has arisen, we offer a free 30-minute initial consultation with no obligation. During this meeting we will discuss our service and wherever possible, we will offer a fixed fee so that you know exactly what your costs will be from the outset.

Click here to arrange your free 30-minute consultation, or call our Alton office on 01420 544273 or our Chichester office on 01243 850860.