Lots of couples live together by way of cohabitation. Sadly, cohabitees do not yet have the same, or indeed similar, rights as married couples upon breakdown of their relationship. Thus, there is no such thing as the “Common Law Marriage”. It is a much believed myth!!
Three things which a couple who are contemplating living together should consider are:
- How any property purchased should be held – There are various ways property can be held by owning parties, and so advice upon this should be sought regarding this before any purchase takes place. Also, should one party bring property into the relationship, advice should be sought before this property is transferred into joint names. Most cohabitee disputes relate to property ownership.
- Making a Will - This may help ensure that your share in any property purchased and also your personal items etc are left to the person/s of your choice.
- Entering into a Cohabitation Agreement/Living Together Agreement – This can help regulate the relationship whilst is subsists and can also assist with division of assets and belongings etc should the relationship breakdown. At present such Agreements are not legally binding, but do give an indication to the Court of the parties’ intentions at the time the Agreement was entered into.
Considering the above may help avoid the difficulties that numerous people suffer when their cohabitation comes to an end.
Should you require further advice regarding entering into cohabitation, or indeed upon the breakdown of a cohabitation, please do not hesitate to contact us.