Common-law man and wife is a complete myth. If you are unmarried and live together you do not have the legal rights of a married couple.
As a result, following the breakdown of a relationship or the death of one party there are very different legal implications, sometimes creating a financial disaster for a dependent cohabitee.
Capital assets such as the family home are not divided as they might be in divorce and should a property dispute occur, trust and land law is applied instead.
There is no automatic entitlement to make financial, capital, spousal maintenance or pension claims. There are laws concerning the children of cohabiting couples as there is no distinction between married and unmarried parents when deciding such issues as who the child (or children) will live with and how often they will see the other parent.
For confidential advice on cohabitation issues please contact our Client Care Team below.