What is cohabitation?
Cohabitation usually relates to unmarried couples who are living together as partners, without entering into a marriage or civil partnership.
Where a couple are married or have entered into a civil partnership, the breakdown of that relationship and the distribution of any assets is dealt with by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004, respectively. This legislation incorporates a very similar provision that gives the court discretion to reach an outcome which is fair for the parties.
However, where a couple have not been married or entered into a civil partnership and their relationship breaks down, the court deal with matters very differently.
At Stowe Family Law we have specialists who deal with the areas of law surrounding unmarried couples, but in this article, we have provided a snapshot of the four main types of situations as to how a property can be owned.
For anyone who is trying to get their ducks in a row, it would be helpful for you to consider which one of the four scenarios applies to you. Following this, are details of an interesting and leading case to show what the courts can look at when considering who owns what.