In today’s modern society there are numerous couples that live together ‘as man and wife’ but are not actually married.  However, despite the fact that many people believe that there is such a thing as common law marriage this is completely untrue.  This does not exist in law.  As yet, cohabitating couples do not have the same or similar rights as those of married couples, or those who have entered a civil partnership, should their relationship break down.  Indeed, they have significantly less rights.

If you are living together as a couple, or contemplating the same, then there are a number of actions you can take in order to protect yourself and your partner.  These are as follows:

1 – Consider how any property you own is held.  Most cohabitee disputes relate to how property is owned.  Therefore legal advice should be taken upon purchasing a property as there are a number of different ways it can be held.  If you decide to own property jointly as joint tenants then the right of survivorship will apply should either party die but this is not the case if you own the property as tenants in common.

2 –  Make a will.  In law a cohabitee is not classed as next of kin. Therefore it is important to make a will to ensure that any property or personal items are passed to the person of your choice in the event of your death.

3 – Entering into a cohabitation agreement – In the event that the relationship breaks down a cohabitation agreement can define how property and assets should be divided.  Whilst such agreements are not legally binding they assist the court by showing the court what the intentions of the parties were at the time the agreement was entered into.

By attending to the above when commencing cohabitation you can minimise any potential problems in the event that your relationship breaks down.

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If you would like to know more about how our tailored services can best suit your needs, do not hesitate to get in touch. Although based in Greater Manchester, we can provide high-quality legal assistance to those who need it around the UK. Call us today on 0161 928 3848, or fill in the online contact form.

Testimonials

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Pleasure to do business with McHale & Co. Everything is thoroughly explained, whatever questions we asked. Easy to make contact, we as a family have dealt with your company before and cannot fault any part of our dealing with yourselves.

Mrs L

Helen was excellent. Very clear in her explanations of options and implications of decisions made in our wills.

Mr & Mrs T

A big thank you to Grace Kennedy who went the extra mile and provided me with lots of information regarding making, signing and checking the process for me and after signing a list of use points and information. Excellent customer/client care.

Mr S

I feel that the people employed within this firm really listen and respond accordingly

Mrs S

Many thanks for your assistance with everything (Helen Green), you’ve made it all seem a lot more manageable at a difficult time.

Ms W

Helen, can I just thank you for the professional and thorough way in which you have dealt with this matter and your advice has been very welcome at times. Worth every penny for peace of mind.

Mr L

Extremely helpful and considerate. Very attentive . Nothing was too much trouble from the first phone call to receiving a hard copy of the will. Couldn’t have asked for more. I would not hesitate in recommending you to friends and family. A fantastic service all round. Thank you Michaela.

Mr M

I would like to thank you (Paul Fitton) for your most professional guidance and advice, I appreciate the effort and time you devoted to my issues on this subject.

Mr S

Mr Nattrass is always understanding and helpful and takes time to listen and explain. It is always a pleasure to deal with him. Also, your reception staff are lovely and welcoming.

Mrs J

The service we received from Helen Green was fantastic, nothing was too much trouble. We would recommend Helen without question.

Mr J

The service provided was excellent. Many thank to John Nattrass for all his input and execution of our wills.

Mrs H

I would like to commend Michaela for her warmth, compassion and professionalism. It was because of her superb persona that I am using McHale & Co. Thank you very much Michaela!

Miss J

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