Currently, in England and Wales, there is no separate law governing Cohabitees. Many incorrectly believe that after a couple has lived together as “husband and wife” for 6 months they become Common Law Husband and Wife. It is commonly thought that once you are “Common law Married” you gain rights as if you had been married. Please be aware that living together does NOT confer any special rights or any route to a special legal remedy. It does not matter how many years you may live with someone: there is no special legal status.
The links which may give some rights between a cohabiting couple are links as joint owners of property or links as joint parents of children.
It is possible to enter into a Cohabitation agreement with your partner. In this way, you can make formal provision for what will happen on the breakdown of your relationship. This agreement must be handled formally and properly with full knowledge of the financial matters and with the benefit of legal advice.
If you are buying a house together you should obtain detailed advice on the formal legal ownership of that property and how the way you “hold” that property will affect the future of who is entitled to what share in the property. It may be advisable for you to enter into a Deed of Trust which separately deals with the way in which your shares or interest in the joint property are dealt with formally.
If you are buying a property our conveyancing department will be happy to help you with this.
Please click here for further details.
If you are planning to live together or to marry you should consider making a new Will to ensure that your wishes are settled in the event of anything happening to you. Our Wills and Probate department will be happy to assist you in this respect.
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