What Legal Rights Do Cohabiting Couples Have?
Posted on 1st June 2020
Why do cohabitating couples and married couples have different legal status?
Unfortunately, many believe that there is a status of “common law marriage” that gives cohabitants the same rights as married couples but to give you an idea of how the law views cohabitating couples:
Financial Orders under the MCA 1973 – does not apply to cohabiting couples and to date English Law has not been developed to deal with the same.
Civil Partnership Act 2004 – deals with same-sex couples only and the Government do not intend to extend this act to cover heterosexual couples because they state that “heterosexual couples already have the option of marriage available to them”.
In 2007 the Law Commission was asked to review the law surrounding cohabitation and in July of that year they published its report, ‘Cohabitation: The Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown’ which proposed a scheme to provide remedies for those living together. Unfortunately, the Coalition Government announced in 2011 that it did not wish to take forward the recommendations within the report.
Setting up home as a Cohabitating Family, what should you do?
Ownership of the home:
It is worth considering how you will own your home, whether that be a joint tenants or tenants in common both our Family Solicitors and our Property Solicitors in Preston recommend that an effective way to clarify the ownership of the family home, would be to arrange a Declaration of Trust. Such a Declaration can also allow important matters to be dealt with such as who will pay for repairs, insurances, mortgage repayments and what will happen if you do separate at a later date.
It is important couples living together make provisions for life insurance to cover each of them against the financial consequences of the death of the other.
A cohabitating couple can enter into an agreement setting out arrangements that will apply while they are living together as well as establishing rights on the breakdown of the relationship. Our Family Law Solicitors in Lancaster, or, if closer, our Preston solicitors, can assist in drafting such an agreement.
When you make the decision to begin living with your Significant Other, contact your Local Solicitors, MG Legal to clarify how any property will be owned, arrange your Wills and of course enter into a cohabitation agreement. Call us now on 01995 602 129 or drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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