In England and Wales there remains a widespread myth that 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.
In the event that your cohabiting relationship has broken down, we can advise on all these issues.
We can also draw up an agreement for you setting out your arrangements for the future. These can include what should happen to your property (whether jointly owned or not) and how any proceeds of sale are to be divided to reflect your property rights. We can advise on child support and how to deal with any other financial claims on behalf of a child which may include the provision of housing, other capital payments for your child and the payment of school fees. The agreement can also address non-financial arrangements for children such as where they will live and what the contact arrangements will be.