Unmarried couples do not have the same rights as married couples or couples in a civil partnership. Contrary to popular belief, there is no concept of a 'common law marriage'. The law does not give unmarried couples the same rights upon the breakdown of a relationship as married couples, and the Court does not have the same wide discretion to make financial orders.
Before deciding to live together, you may wish to consider entering into an agreement called a 'cohabitation agreement' or a 'living together agreement' setting out your intentions and agreements as to how financial matters are to be dealt with in the event that the relationship breaks down. We are experienced in drafting these agreements and can act for you in negotiating the terms and drafting the document.
The breakdown of a relationship where a couple is not married or part of a registered civil partnership is no less complicated and is sometimes more so in light of the law that is applied. We can advise you about the legal options available to you upon a relationship breakdown, including how any jointly owned property is to be dealt with and how any children are to be provided for in the future.
For further information please contact one of the team.