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Cohabiting couple families are the fastest growing family type in the UK, with numbers more than doubling from 1.5 million families in 1996 to 3.3 million families in 2017. However, it is also the most misunderstood area of family law. There is no such thing as common law marriage in this country, which means that cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights as married couples.

When unmarried couples separate, significant issues can arise over the ownership of property. To resolve these, cohabiting couples have to rely on complex and arcane trust principles. To avoid this, if you are intending to live with a partner, it is a good idea to enter into a cohabitation agreement which sets out what will happen to your finances in the event of a relationship breakdown. It can also make clear how the property in which you live (and any other property) is owned.

Whether you wish to enter into a cohabitation agreement, or your partner has asked you to, we will advise you on the contents.

If the relationship does break down, we can help you to resolve any disputes over property ownership that arise. If you have children, we can also advise you on any financial claims which may be brought by one parent on behalf of children for housing and maintenance.

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