Family Services

Children, Civil Partnership, Co-Habitation, Divorce and Separation


More people are choosing not to enter into marriage but to live together instead. Contrary to popular belief, the concept of the "common-law marriage" is not recognised in English law. In general, if a couple is living together they will have fewer rights than if they are married. This means, for example, at the demise of a relationship, a cohabitant does not have automatic rights to a property if their name does not appear on the title deeds. Furthermore, cohabitants do not have a right to receive maintenance for themselves from their former partner.

Aspects of status with a partner can be formalised by drawing up a cohabitation agreement, outlining the obligations and responsibilities of each partner towards the other. A couple may also enter into a series of legally enforceable contracts in respect of specific matters such as property.

We are able to offer advice on the following issues:

  • Claims to an interest in a property owned in a former partner’s name
  • The extent of your interest in jointly-owned property
  • Co-habitation contracts
  • Domestic abuse
  • If your partner has died and not made any financial provision for you
  • Whether you are entitled to financial provision for your children

Our understanding team of family experts includes:

  • members of Resolution
  • members of The Law Society Family Panel
  • a trained collaborative lawyer.

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If you would like one of our team of family experts to call you back, please complete the quick request form below and we will contact you shortly