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Divorce & Family Law > Cohabitation Disputes

Legal advice for Cohabiting Couples

97% of our Family Law clients felt we handled their case with care

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such legal concept as a ‘common law husband or wife’.

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Despite cohabiting couples being the fastest growing UK family type, the myth of the common law husband or wife lives on. In reality, however, the legal rights of separating cohabitees are very different from those of divorcing spouses.


Our expert legal team can guide you through what options may be available to you when your cohabiting relationship breaks down.


The law relating to unmarried couples can be extremely complex, so it is important to seek professional legal advice. Our expert legal team includes accredited members of the Law Society Accredited Children and Advanced Family panel members who are experienced in assisting clients in these fields.


Common Legal Issues for Cohabiting Couples


Our expert Family Law solicitors provide advice on some of the common legal issues for cohabiting couples which include:


  • Disputes over property, including what should happen with a jointly owned property. Even if the property is not jointly owned, it can sometimes be possible to establish a legal interest in the property.

  • Financial claims for children. Although child maintenance is usually exclusively dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service, there can be occasions where the court can be invited to make financial orders for children including maintenance or property orders.

  • Disputes involving children. For example, unless a child’s father is named upon the birth certificate he will not have parental responsibility for that child.

  • Differences in how the inheritance rules are applied to unmarried couples. For this reason you may want to consider taking professional legal advice to help with the preparation of your Will.

It is usually more cost effective to attempt to resolve a dispute involving a cohabiting couple through mediation. We can make a referral for you to a local mediation service and provide you with expert legal advice throughout the mediation process.


It does sometimes become necessary for matters to be settled through the court process, and if this is the case, you can rest assured your case will be conducted professionally and sensitively throughout.


For more information on how our Family Law Solicitors can help you if you are involved in a dispute with a cohabiting partner, call 0151 239 1181 today.

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