An increasing number of couples are now choosing to live together before, or instead of, getting married. Many couples do so in the mistaken belief that they have the same rights as married couples. Often cohabiting couples only find this out, to their dismay, when the relationship breaks down.
We can advise couples who are considering living together as to the legal consequences of doing so if the relationship breaks down. We can help them draw up an agreement setting out the terms on which they will cohabit, for example regulating how mortgage payments and other household bills will be shared or how any assets brought into the relationship will be treated in the event of a relationship breakdown.
DIVISION OF ASSETS & PROPERTY
We can advise couples who have decided to separate on the basis upon which their assets will be divided and of the steps they should take to protect their interests. We can help them draw up an agreement setting out the terms on which they will separate.
In the event that an agreement cannot be reached we can advise you about the respective claims of former cohabitants on the breakdown of their relationship. Claims may arise from the manner in which property is owned or was acquired. In fact this is a complex area of law involving both the law of trusts and the law of property and we can advise fully as to any potential claims you may have.
It should be noted that unlike the separation of married couples there is no right to maintenance from a former cohabitant but it is possible to pursue a claim for capital to meet the financial needs of children from the relationship.
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