The law governing the financial rights of cohabiting couples differs dramatically from those of married couples in several key areas.

  • Property
  • Finance
  • Inheritance

Why you are at risk

You have fewer financial rights as a cohabiting couple than you do as a married couple as there is no legal definition of cohabitation or living together. This obviously makes things more complicated in the event of separation and can increase the stress during an already difficult time.

One of the most persistent of urban myths is that of the ‘common law marriage’. For some reason the belief that couples living together have the same protection and rights under the law as married couples is wide spread and unfortunately just not true. Don’t get caught out!

rhw can advise on how you can formalise your arrangements so that all parties have certainty and an element of protection. Don’t rely on the ‘it will never happen to me’ approach, as there are many, many people who have cohabited and then found themselves in a situation with very little in the way of legal protection when things go unexpectedly wrong. It’s not always about a relationship breakdown. People can unexpectedly die or get seriously ill and unable to make decisions. In those situations you can find yourself having to deal with third parties you may not know or even particularly like.

Contact us

rhw solicitors have a knowledgeable and compassionate team of Family lawyers that will help mitigate risk through legally binding agreements and, if you have no such agreement in place, can advise and assist you during the difficult separation process. Call us on 01483 302000 or complete our contact form.

Meet the Family Law Team

Michelle Davies

Michelle Davies

Legal Secretary
Lauren Moir

Lauren Moir

Associate Solicitor
Serena (Shanni) Sandhu

Serena (Shanni) Sandhu

Senior Associate Solicitor
Hannah Gibbons

Hannah Gibbons

Senior Paralegal

Your Support Network

On mental health

If you are having issues with mental health due to pressures connected with your domestic situation, then rhw can help.

At rhw we aim to provide a fully comprehensive service for our clients. As well as the legal advice and support from our own staff, we have carefully selected independent financial experts we can introduce you to should you need their help.

We also take the mental health welfare of our clients extremely seriously. To this end we have teamed up with Teba Martin-Lopez of Surrey Psychotherapy who offers a range of psychological support that assists our clients with the stress and mental health symptoms they may be experiencing during and after a divorce.

Surrey Hypnotherapy offer clients a combination of psychotherapy techniques and hypnosis. The psychotherapy in itself is extremely beneficial and helps you to address underlying issues.’

We are happy to refer a client to Teba directly or, if you prefer, you can visit her website below and make contact yourself. Please mention rhw Solicitors when contacting Teba.

Regarding Finances?

If you require independent financial advice, then rhw can introduce you to a number of local IFA’s who can guide you towards the right decisions when your circumstances are changing.

This service does not financially benefit rhw in any way. We look to provide a full range of support services to our clients when and where we can.

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