Cohabiting but not married? Make sure you're protected!
Posted on 28th February 2020
(a) how any property (especially the family home) is to be owned between you and your partner (more on that, here);
(b) life insurance cover (to cover any mortgages should one party pass away);
Every family law advisor would also recommend any couple to enter into a cohabitation agreement before purchasing a property together.
It is important to note that should a cohabitating couple split up then:
(a) neither party can claim maintenance from the other;
(b) Maintenance for any children of the relationship can usually be claimed through the Child Maintenance Service;
(c) Ownership of the home will be determined by land law principles and an order for sale could be obtained;
(d) Occupation of the home may be obtained by establishing a contractual licence or by obtaining an occupation order under the Family Law Act 1996;
(e) Transfer of Tenancy Orders can, in some circumstances, be made under the Family Law Act 1996;
(f) As regards to the children of an unmarried couple:
(i) Mother automatically has sole parental responsibility,
(ii) Father can obtain parental responsibility;
(g) If a partner is bankrupt, the sale of home can be delayed only if there are dependant children, and then only for a maximum of 12 months;
(h) if a cohabitating partner dies intestate, then there is no provision under the intestacy rules for the other partner to obtain any part of the estate.
Any children of the couple will generally receive a share of the parent's estate, although the Inheritance Provisions for Family and Dependants Act 1975 may be available to a cohabiting partner - speak to our team to find out more about claims against an estate.
Whilst there have been various proposals for the reform of law relating to cohabitating couples, these changes are not here yet.
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors
Share this post: