Our divorce & family lawyer in Derby, Andrew Robotham, offers his advice to couples who choose to live together and not marry. The law treats cohabiting couples quite differently to married couples so it is important to understand your rights.
“I think if you are looking to move in with a partner, not getting married, but effectively living together, cohabiting, I think a lot of people refer to it as common law marriage. You need to be careful and you need to think ahead and plan as to what may happen for the future. In legal terms there is no such thing as common law marriage.
I am an accredited specialist of Resolution in the area of cohabitation and a lot of couples assume that the same rules and laws apply as if you were married when actually that’s not the case. So you need to think of careful planning and think about who is bringing what into the relationship, what assets you have, what assets you have in your own name and then what assets you are going to have jointly together. For example some couples might want to enter into what is known as a cohabitation agreement. In a cohabitation agreement you can detail who has brought what into the relationship, who has what assets and you can actually detail exactly what will happen to those assets if in the future you subsequently separated.
More about cohabitation agreements, known as living together agreements here.