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The Law and Cohabiting Couples

Recent figures published by the Office of National Statistics reveal that there are now 3.3 million cohabiting couple families in the UK, with the number more than doubling over the last twenty years. Cohabiting couple families were the fastest growing family type during that period.

However, the law has not kept up with this change.

Although their relationship may be comparable, in many ways, to that of married couples their rights upon separation are very different. Despite the public’s perception there is no such thing as “common law” marriage and when cohabiting relationships breakdown the parties often find themselves with limited or sometimes no legal recourse.

Although it is difficult to imagine separating when you are in a relationship the entering into of a cohabitation agreement during the relationship can save time, future heartache and significant legal expense for a cohabiting couple who later separate.

A Cohabitation Agreement is a contract between the parties and is enforceable as such. It can deal with all aspects of what is to happen should the relationship breakdown.

For advice on your rights when a cohabiting relationship has ended or on the entering into of a Cohabitation Agreement you should obtain specialist legal advice.

We have specialist Family Solicitors at our Ashford, Canterbury and Herne Bay offices who are all experienced in dealing with these types of matters. For further details contact a member of our Family Law team.

Please read Reliance on information posted in our Terms of Website Use - see Legal section - before relying on this commentary.

Before relying on this commentary please read the Reliance on information posted section in our Terms of Website Use in our Legal section. Please note that specialist advice should be taken in relation to any specific queries and the information above is provided for general information purposes only.

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Our Experts

Gemma Purt

Head of Department
Family Law

Curtis Wray

Associate Solicitor
Family Law

Megan Mahesan

Associate Solicitor
Family Law

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