There are significant differences in how the law deals with property depending on whether you are married or not. If you are not married, the law does not recognise you as a couple and this doesn’t change depending on how long you have lived together or if you have children. So, what are your options?
Unless there is a property or other asset held in joint names, then the starting point is that you have no claims against anything owned by the other party. Nor is there any obligation on one partner from a cohabiting relationship to provide maintenance to the other, although if there are children then all claims for child maintenance remain unaffected.
Disregard entirely the law relating to marital breakdown when it comes to cohabitation. The following are the principle misconceptions many people hold and need to be corrected …
The payment of spousal maintenance is often a tricky issue in divorce cases. It becomes even trickier when the receiving party, usually the wife, starts to cohabit and the husband feels that it is not fair that he should be expected to continue to support his ex. Is the fact of cohabitation grounds for the maintenance to come to an end and the wife’s claims dismissed once and for all?
What are my rights? This is the question most people caught up in family breakdown ask their solicitor. They are often quite frustrated at the answer!
Here we address what can be done to avoid problems when cohabiting parties separate. Note that there have not been any recent major changes of the law in this area. Cohabitees continue to have limited rights in comparison to married couples or those in a civil partnership.
Divorce and cohabitation are relatively common bedfellows (no pun intended). Cohabitation is a long standing living arrangement which to all intents and purposes is similar to a marriage, except there is no marriage licence. Cohabitation is relevant in divorce proceedings in the following ways …