News and Events

Breaking Up Advice for Unmarried Couples

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It’s January and, as usual, the media have brought out the annual stories about the first working Monday of the year seeing lawyers instructed in record-breaking numbers as relationships fall apart over the Christmas break.

Maybe it’s time for these reports to reflect the reality in the UK of 2018. Research carried out over four years ago showed that relationship breakdown involving children was about equally divided between married and unmarried parents even then. The number of cohabiting (unmarried) families doubled in the decade up to 2016. So it may not be long before married couples are in the minority as cohabitation goes on increasing every year.

Cohabiting couples aren’t married- so they can’t divorce, and they can’t ask a court to arrange a general financial settlement when they split up. What can they do, and will they need legal advice?

If cohabiting couples jointly own or occupy a home, they should have expert advice on how to divide their assets. Who owns the home and in what shares? Will it have to be sold? What if one partner’s parents paid the deposit? What about the children? Can one partner be held to what they may have agreed some years ago? These are some of the complicated issues involved, and the answers for cohabiting couples are very different from those where the couple are married.

In order to get the specialist advice you need in this area of the law, phone our new enquiries team on 0800 118 1500 now to find out how we can help you.