How to use cohabitation lawyers


If you are one of the estimated four million people that are cohabiting with their partners in England and Wales, you should be aware of your legal rights if you separate.

Under current law, it is important to realise that anyone cohabiting in England and Wales has fewer rights than those people that are married or have a civil partnership.

What do cohabitation lawyers do?

Cohabitation lawyers are legal professionals who often specialise in divorce and family matters. The reason these specialties are commonly related is because the law that governs marriage and divorce also somewhat applies to cohabitation. Cohabitation solicitors offer a range of services to couples such as:

  • Helping to plan wills (in order to avoid one of the partner’s assets going to the family rather than the surviving partner)
  • Providing advice in case of a break-up

If you are in a relationship and live with your partner, you may be at risk of losing what appear to be your assets. Cohabitation solicitors are able to prevent this situation from occurring. These professionals can explain to you:

  • What the law is and how it applies to you at the moment
  • How your legal status could change
  • What differences a married couple would experience

The main benefit of consulting cohabitation solicitors however is that if you would like the law to operate differently there is a good chance the solicitor can arrange it. The rules of a will, for example, allow one to instruct the executor to act in a manner similar to how the will of a married person would be executed.

What are my rights as a cohabitee?

Your rights as a cohabitee are based mainly on a cohabitation agreement. Go to our page on cohabitation for more information

Cohabitation lawyers can become vital if you want to leave the person you are cohabiting with. You may have children, or have investments in property or other financial considerations that any separation would have a profound impact upon.

Cohabitation lawyers will be even more important if you are left with debts to pay such as a mortgage. You can get help and advice from your lawyer about:

  • The rights you do have
  • Any legal action that you could take if you are left financially disadvantaged when your partner leaves

All cohabiting couples should think carefully about their financial and legal position before they make any capital investments, for example property. Cohabitation lawyers will be specialised in family law, and will have detailed knowledge of the current laws that impact on your type of relationship.

Are you a cohabitee and wish to cement the legalities of your relationship to the same effect as a common-law marriage? Are you in the process of splitting up with your cohabiting partner and want to know how to divide your finances? Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist family lawyer who can assist you in any matters relating to cohabitation. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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