A trend has developed towards couples living together rather than getting married. There is a common myth that if you have been living together you become common law spouses. But it is just a myth; the law does not recognise common law spouses. It is therefore important to understand that cohabitants, no matter how long they have been living as if husband and wife, are not afforded the same rights upon the breakdown of the relationship as those which arise on divorce.

The situation therefore where there are property disputes between cohabitants (i.e. unmarried partners), is not dealt with as part of family law but Trust and Land Law is applied. This is a complex area. Duncan Watts LLP has experience in advising on these issues
Duncan Watts LLP recommend ownership of property is agreed before purchase takes place. Duncan Watts LLP are able to draft an agreement which reflects any agreement reached in relation to the purchase of property and to provide what should happen upon the breakdown of such a relationship. This is often referred to as a Cohabitation Agreement or Living Together Agreement




Costing
We can, in certain circumstances, undertake this work for a fixed fee of £900 plus VAT. The fee assumes that you have a general agreement about what you would like to happen if your relationship ends.
The fee does not include extensive negotiations or what agreement you should make as this requires a detailed consideration of your finances. This service is available the costs of which will need to be discussed with us direct.

There is however separate consideration where children are concerned. If a couple have not married but have had children and the relationship breaks down, there may be financial implications as a result. There are applications that can be made under the Children Act 1989 to meet the needs of the children; which we would be happy to discuss.