Cohabitation Law and Rights - Oxfordshire, Warwickshire & Cotswolds

Cohabitation law and rights for unmarried couples

The law does not recognise a “common law wife” or "common law husband".  Regardless of how long a couple has been living together as husband and wife, they are not afforded the same rights on the breakdown of their cohabitant relationship as those who are married and embarking upon a divorce.

The fact that people live together in the same house does not necessarily mean that they both have an interest in that house – unless it is jointly owned.

cohabitation law warwickshire cotswolds oxfordshireLiving together, rather than marrying, can be a financial disaster for a dependent cohabitee in the event of the relationship breaking down.  There is no maintenance entitlement, and no automatic entitlement to property, capital or pension claims.  The children of a “common law” relationship may also be financially disadvantaged, although applications may be made on behalf of the children under the Children Act 1989.

Trust and land law is applied in the event of any property disputes.

It is vital that ownership of real property is agreed before the purchase takes place, and is reflected in an appropriate Declaration of Trust.  In addition, if it is intended for both parties to benefit financially from the cohabitation if it breaks down, then it is vital that an agreement is drafted to reflect this.

Please contact us for an appointment if you would like to discuss your personal circumstances.

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