Friday, 16 November 2012

Cohabitation versus marriage

The Telegraph has recently reported that a quarter of young people regard buying a property as a bigger commitment than getting married.

Perhaps high house prices and a much tighter lending criteria are factors which make buying your first home together more important than tying the knot.

However, a common misconception is that when you live with someone you become their “common law” husband or wife which is a myth. Upon relationship breakdown unmarried cohabiting couples do not have the same rights as married couples upon divorce and in fact many cohabitees are left in a very vulnerable financial position after a relationship ends. For example, a cohabitee who does not co-own the property may have no legal rights at all. If there are children of the relationship then there are some remedies available if after relationship breakdown the party is unable to rehouse with the children.

Moving in with someone or buying a property with someone can have serious legal implications and it is always important to obtain legal advice. For example, it is possible to have a cohabitation agreement drawn up.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

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