Unmarried couples and co-habitation

 

Legal protection for unmarried couples

The legal position for unmarried couples is very different from those who are married, as there is no current law in England and Wales which recognises the rights of cohabitating couples.

The rights a spouse acquires on marriage simply does not exist for an unmarried partner. Unfortunately, some people have been misled by the ‘common law spouse’. The reality is that cohabiting couples are often the victims of injustice at the point of separation or if one partner dies due to not having regulated financial arrangements.

It is therefore sensible for unmarried couples to consider a Cohabitation Agreement to ensure that their financial position is safeguarded. Talk to one of our family law practioners to find out how we can help. 

Cohabitation agreements

The decision to live together is often seen as an alternative, or precursor to marriage. Couples living together, or cohabiting can put a cohabitation agreement in place which allows them certain rights should the relationship end, or one of the parties passes away.

A cohabitation agreement is an effective way of establishing what you want to do should unforeseen events arise. A simple and straightforward cohabitation agreement can save a lot of time, money and distress in later years. Our family lawyers can guide you to ensure you are protected in the event you separate or if your partner has passed on.

Disputes between unmarried couples

Legal disputes between unmarried couples can be complex and can often involve trusts and property law. Given the complexity of such matters, such disputes can be expensive. Unmarried couples have no claim against each other’s incomes, capital (cash and investments) or pensions with disputes often centred on the ownership of property. If you find yourself in this position, our experienced family lawyers can guide you through this difficult time, ensuring that you receive the best possible outcome.

Who to contact


Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

Partner, Head of Family Law team in England and Wales,
London, Manchester



Grainne Fahy

Grainne Fahy

Head of Family Law team in London and South of England,
London




View full team

Unmarried couples and co-habitation Team

Grainne Fahy

Grainne Fahy

Head of Family Law team in London and South of England,
London


Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

Partner, Head of Family Law team in England and Wales,
London, Manchester


Yasmin Khan-Gunns

Yasmin Khan-Gunns

Solicitor,
London


Related Expertise


Related contacts


Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

Partner, Head of Family Law team in England and Wales,
London, Manchester


Grainne Fahy

Grainne Fahy

Head of Family Law team in London and South of England,
London