Cohabitation agreements are becoming an increasingly common phenomenon, whereby couples live together on a long-term basis without ever getting married. People presume that if they have been living with a partner for a few years, they become ‘common law husband and wife’ and have the same rights as married couples. However this is not the case, ‘common law marriage’ simply doesn’t exist.
Married couples and civil partners enjoy significantly more legal protection than couples living together and although cohabitating couples do have more rights than they used to and things are still changing, many cohabitees leave themselves highly vulnerable should their relationship fail.
Some of the issues cohabiting couples face if the relationship breaks down are:
- Living arrangements
- Parental responsibility
There are several options you can take to ensure you protect yourself in case your relationship does come to an end. Our family team can advise you on the cohabitation issues you should consider, where you stand legally and how a Court would view your cohabitation arrangements.