Divorce Solicitor In Bristol – A Closer Look At Cohabitation

In recent times there has been a rise in the number of partners who are opting to live together instead of getting married or entering into a civil union. Some really don’t see the need for a lawful arrangement, while some view living together as a stepping stone to married life or civil union. It doesn’t matter what the reason, it is important to appreciate that partners that cohabit outside of matrimony or a civil partnership arrangement possess fewer rights and significantly less legal protection.

Many cohabiting partners believe there is such a thing as a ‘common law marriage’, that applies to all couples living with each other. However, they could be amazed to learn that this is actually untrue in England and Wales. The majority of people who are only cohabiting are living with each other without a lot of the safeguards available to married people and civil partners, which can often cause problems when the partnership comes to an end, or one of the individuals dies.

Property and Cohabitation
Many cohabiting partners do not really understand the actual risky legal position they may be in until it is far too late. Although it is not the kind of thing many unmarried partners take into consideration when they’re contemplating setting up home, the right approach could be to look at the necessary legal agreements in case the partnership does not work out, which may be done by buying a home in one of two ways.

The Way In Which Cohabitation Has An Effect On Finances
On the subject of a couple’s financial situation, husbands and wives and civil partners receive substantial legal protection if ever the relationship should end. Dependant upon the partners involved together with their specific circumstances, one partner could be required to pay some sort of maintenance to the other, in order to enable them to adapt to living by themselves. However that will not be the way it is with partners that are cohabiting.

Cohabitation & Parental Rights
When a legitimately married husband and wife have a baby they are both accepted as the parents of the baby and enjoy all of the responsibility and rights that come with that. When it comes to cohabiting partners, the father could have no rights to his baby except if he is there whenever the birth is officially documented, or all of the appropriate documents are provided which establish he is the father.

Cohabitation Agreement
Increasingly more partners are opting to work with our Family Law Solicitors Bristol office to draft some sort of cohabitation agreement in order to help prevent potential issues with property plus finances. Some will even decide to do this after they have split up, although when this happens the actual arrangement is similar to a traditional separation agreement.

All the legal guidelines associated with partners who are living with one another outside of marriage or civil partnership are going through a review and it’s possible these laws and regulations could be changed in the future.

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