In 2017 there were 3.3 million cohabiting families in the United Kingdom.
There is a recurring assumption that a long standing relationship, whether between couples of the opposite sex or of the same sex, confers the same rights as a Marriage or Civil Partnership. IT DOES NOT. English law does not recognise a “common law spouse” and generally they have no more rights than two strangers.
What if our relationship breaks down?
Hawkridge & Company can offer assistance in planning for the future. Our Managing Partner, Tristan Alder, could draw up a cohabitation agreement between you and your partner so that in the unfortunate event of your relationship breaking down, the division of your jointly owned assets is handled fairly and with care.
What if my partner dies?
If a cohabiting couple have children then the Courts will act to make reasonable provision for them. Or, if one individual has contributed to the purchase or improvement of a property they may acquire a claim against the property’s value. Contributions to general household expenses do not generally count.
If a cohabiting couple have children, without being on the birth certificate, the father does not assume automatic guardianship of the children should anything happen to your partner. Mark Hawkridge or Sarah Hopper could assist you in making a Will with provisions for the care of your children, which is a simple way to ensure that no matter what happens, your children will have a suitable guardian amongst your family or friends.