Some couples in England & Wales assume they have the same legal rights as married couples. Just living together does not mean you get financial protection.
“Cohabiting” couples although some would argue it is unfair don’t have the same legal rights as married couples or couples in a Civil Partnership.
An example would be when it comes to property, married couples have equal rights to the property regardless of who bought it, who pays the mortgage or who maintains it (with some exceptions to the rule). However couples living together don’t have these legal rights unless stated in a Cohabitation Agreement.
A Cohabitation Agreement allows the home owner to document if they want to state their partner as a contributor to the property. This has to be agreed by both parties and in the event that the relationship breaks up, both partners would walk away with their share of the property. However if this was not stated and the relationship ended, the person who doesn’t own the property would not be entitled to a share of it.
The same rules apply for finances such as pensions and savings, if not otherwise stated in a Cohabitation Agreement or a Will and one person dies, the surviving partner would not be entitled to receive the pension fund or savings from the deceased like married couples would.
If you and your partner are living together, although it’s not the most romantic thing to do, it would be a good idea to get expert legal advice from a Family Lawyer, and consider drawing up a Cohabitation Agreement to specify how your property, finances and other things would be divided in the event of a break up.
At Slater and Gordon Lawyers our Family Solicitors have a multitude of experience with cohabiting couples and can provide valuable advice on all aspects of cohabitation law. Call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to assist you.
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