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Do you live with your partner? Are you unmarried? Cohabiting couples are becoming more and more common. You may think the only difference between you and a married couple is a piece of paper. However, the law doesn’t see things in quite the same way.

Are you confused about legal rights for unmarried couples? If you need advice on coming up with a cohabitation agreement, Bendles will help. We’ve been helping the people of Carlisle with personal matters for over 200 years. Get in touch today to arrange a consultation. Call us on 01228 522215 to discuss your options.

In the event of a marriage breaking down, both spouses are entitled to a share of the matrimonial assets. You might think this is the same for cohabiting partners. But in England and Wales, it's not the case.

Common Law Marriage Myths

Many people assume that there are laws regarding ‘common law’ husbands and wives. These are laws stating that if you live together as a married couple would, you’re entitled to the same rights on relationship breakdown.

But, unfortunately ‘common law marriage’ is a myth in England and Wales. If your relationship breaks down, you and your ex-partner are individuals by law. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived together.

Luckily, there are a few things Bendles can do to help you in these cases.

However, the best way to avoid difficulty when a relationship ends is prevention.

When you first move in with your partner, the last thing you’ll want to think about is who‘ll get what if the relationship should ever break down.

But if you’re the dependant cohabitee, this is especially important. With your partner not bound by law to support you financially if the relationship ends, you could end up with nothing.

If your partner owns the property you share, you may even find yourself homeless.

If the relationship doesn’t break down one of you may die before the other, so it’s important to keep your Will up to date too.

Don’t put it off, get in touch with Bendles today to discuss a cohabitation agreement.

Our family law specialist, Viv Clough, is a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Accreditation Scheme. Give us a call on 01228 522215.

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Viv Clough Profile

Viv Clough

Specialising in all aspects of Family Law but predominantly divorce and finance cases and pensions.


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