Many people still think that if they live together with a partner (whether opposite or same sex) for a certain amount of time they will automatically have rights against that person under a “common law marriage”. This is not true. If your relationship breaks down and you were not married to that person, your claims against them will be more limited than those of a married couple.
If there are children of the relationship you may be able to make financial claims for maintenance and support, through the Child Support Agency (www.csa.gov.uk) and / or the Courts.
If you own a property jointly with your ex partner, or even if you are not a legal owner but you made contributions to the property whether directly or indirectly, you may have a claim for a share of that property, and you may be able to apply to court to force or postpone a sale of the property and for the size of your share to be determined.
We can also advise you on cohabitation agreements, which are contracts between you and your partner.
Scotland has already brought in a law to govern disputes between cohabitants whose relationship has broken down. The Law Commission in this country made a recommendation in July 2007 that a new law should be made in England and Wales. However, it will take many years for such a law to reach the statute books.
In the mean time, the courts recognise that more and more people are living together without getting married, and the law on property disputes between cohabitants is evolving rapidly.
© 2007 Hornby and Levy | Designed by lbsworld