Over six million people now live together as a couple in the UK without being married. Inevitably some of those relationships break down.
When these relationships end, many unmarried couples are surprised to find that they don’t automatically have the right to share in each other’s finances and property on separation.
There are steps you can take to give yourself certainty and avoid potential unfairness.
It may seem unromantic to consider what will happen if you separate, but some forward planning could protect your position should the worst happen.
At Irwin Mitchell our national team of family law experts have years of experience in helping unmarried couples, so can guide you through the legal process.
How We Can Help You
If you are considering moving in with your partner without getting married, we could help you put together a cohabitation agreement. Such an agreement can be used to clarify:
- Who owns property, including your home, joint bank accounts and belongings
- How payment of household bills is to be divided
- Maintenance payments for any children, including school fees and payments for housing
We have helped many couples to put cohabitation agreements in place, making sure that both parties fully understand the terms.
We have particular expertise in relationships where one or both parties own property overseas, have considerable business interests or significant wealth is involved.
Cohabitation agreements are legally binding and enforceable. That means if one of you breaches the terms of the agreement, the other could claim for any financial losses caused.
Despite you being prepared for every eventuality we know that sometimes agreements can break down and people’s attitudes can change on separation. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with cases where pre and post-marital agreements have been questioned or sought to be relied upon.
Our success in challenging or having the agreements upheld means that we can advise you in either scenario as well as ensure from the outset that your agreement is as robust as possible to offer you protection, whatever comes around the corner.
Why Choose Us?
Our family law team is widely regarded as one of the UK leaders. We specialise in providing expert advice in all areas of family law, including divorces and separations that affect children.
- We have a large team of family law experts based in major cities across England.
- We will explain the process clearly and keep you informed about what is happening at each stage.
- We provide cost effective solutions tailored to your situation and will provide clear information about costs, allowing you to manage your outgoings.
- Our experts achieve high rankings in independent guides to the legal profession.
What The Experts Say About Our Family Law Experts
We’re regularly ranked highly in the leading independent guides to the legal profession, Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.
A "top-quality team" that is "very knowledgeable and compassionate" and "provides fantastic advice" - Legal 500, 2016
"Very caring and detailed approach - literally 24/7 client care." and "An amazing team - I fear for anyone who goes up against them." - Chambers & Partners, 2015
"Irwin Mitchell’s family law practice is ‘strong, professional and efficient', and acts for many professionals, such as doctors, dentists, accountants and solicitors." - Legal 500, 2014
Contact Us For Expert Advice
If you want to put together a cohabitation agreement or your relationship has broken down and you need legal advice, contact us. One of our experts will talk you through your options and help you decide on the best way forward.
Call us now on 0345 604 4911 or contact us online.
Please note that we do not deal with Legal Aid cases.
Download our guide to family law for unmarried couples.