More and more couples are choosing to live together. Marriage rates are at their lowest since records began and almost half of all children are now born outside marriage in this country.
There remains a widespread myth that, in England and Wales, unmarried couples who live together as if they were 'husband' and 'wife' eventually acquire certain legal rights in relation to each other, similar to those enjoyed by married couples. This is not the case. Despite mounting pressure for reform, there is still no overall statutory code governing the breakdown of the relationship of cohabiting couples. This means that if you live together and your relationship ends you must rely on a complex patchwork of legal rules which aim to address property rights and, if there are children of the relationship, child support and other financial claims on behalf of a child.
Prior to cohabiting we can help you to formalise your arrangements by drawing up a cohabitation agreement to try and define what happens to your assets in the event of your relationship breaking down, thereby seeking to avoid the rather inadequate approach of the law in this area.