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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Excellent, professional and caring. Michaela and her colleagues made the whole process very easy.

Ms A

I have been using McHale and Co for both the sake of my property and the purchase of my new home. Joy handled my sale and was extremely professional, helpful and persevered when dealing with my buyers solicitors who were less than professional to deal with.
Phillippa was equally professional and extremely knowledgeable on purchasing new build properties due to her years of experience in this specialist area. She was supportive and gave me confidence that I was getting a first class service. Would use them again and recommend to my friends and family.

Ms. S

…in the midst of the most stressful situations, I have never felt the need to ‘nudge’ or urge action, I have always been confident in the reliability and consistency in the service received, especially from Liz Connolly.

Ms B

Extremely satisfied, I have already recommended. I first used the Will drafting service – Helen Green – then probate… clearly happy!

Ms W

Excellent Service provided by Michaela. Detailed, professional and approachable.

Ms J

Michaela is professional and confident in her field and at the same time I felt completely relaxed in her presence, a great asset to McHale & Co.

Mrs P

Always, without fail, returned email/telephone calls promptly. Thank you.

Mr D

Professional and efficient service with a personal touch.

Mr Y

Grace has been very helpful dealing our whole family, arranging wills and lasting powers of attorney. Excellent service.

Mrs N

I am very glad that I found your office and especially Helen Green. I enjoy dealing with people who know what they are doing.

Mr S

Grace Kennedy was friendly, professional and knowledgeable. Updating our wills was a very smooth and efficient process.

Mr W

The service and communication provided by Michaela throughout the process of dealing with my mum’s estate has been exemplary.

Mr E

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