Advantages and Disadvantages of Cohabitation

For a short informal arrangement, cohabitation is fine, as neither party is possibly investing much in the relationship and you may not feel the need to set out exactly how any property is owned. 

But the longer people live together the more it becomes important to clearly establish who owns what.  People who have lived together for many many years in a property owned by the other partner may find on separation that they have absolutely no interest in that property much to their surprise.  So if you are thinking of cohabiting for any length of time you should take legal advice as there may be some unexpected consequences.  

Separating when living together if not married. 

Generally this is much simpler than if you are married, as there are no legal relationships, rights or responsibilities to deal with other than the ownership of any property. 

The property in which you live is either owned jointly or by one or the other.  If it is in the name of one person it is extremely difficult for the other to claim any interest in it even if you have been living together for some considerable time.  This does come as a surprise to many people.

If the property is owned jointly, then you will need to decide what to do with the property when you separate.

Apart from property ownership, you will have claims upon each other's assets or pensions when you separate after living together without having been married.

If you require advice about any aspects of cohabitation or living together without being married, then please contact us for an appointment.

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