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What is Cohabitation?

Answering the question, what is Cohabitation? There are many couples who wish to live together in committed long-term relationships without getting married and this is known as Cohabitation. However, what is important to bear in mind is that in the event of separation, the legal rights of cohabiting couples differ substantially to couples that are married. In addition to this, many couples believe that they have certain rights just by living together, as they will be known as a common law husband or wife. This is false, as according to English Law, there is no such thing as a common law husband or wife.

Primary Principles of a Cohabitation or Living Together Agreement

Below we have outlined the primary principles of a Cohabitation Agreement:

  1. By law you are treated as two separate people.
  2. Assets remain in ownership of the name they are in.
  3. Financial maintenance cannot be claimed from partner.
  4. The parent that children live with can claim child support from partner.

Cohabitation in relation to children and property

When couples in cohabitation own a home together and the property is held in both their names the equity can be divided equally. One person may wish to buy out the other person share or the property can be sold and the money shared between them. However, if the property is only in one person’s name they will have full ownership, if the other partner wishes to get their share, this will involve a solicitor and an appearance in court.

For cohabiting partners who have children together and then separate, one of the most key issues to solve is where and with whom the child or children are going to live and when and how often the other parent will spend time with the children. The rights for unmarried couples can be very complex, especially for the father of the child.

If you would like to speak to one of our family solicitors please contact us today to arrange a free 30 minute consultation.

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