Over the last decade, statistics show that there has been an increase of 25.8% in the number of cohabiting couple families within the UK, which is a much faster growth than the number of married couples.
The number of same-sex couple families has grown by more than 50% since 2015 as well, many of whom will also be unmarried.
This is not a new theme but one that bears repeating as there still seems to be so much ignorance out there about the status of cohabitation. Basically, there is no status in the family law context. Yes, there are laws relating to financial orders for children, but they are available to married couples as well.
For the cohabiting couple, if you are unmarried or not in a civil partnership, on the breakdown of your relationship you will have no right to share in any capital money unless held in a joint account, or any pension assets, or to receive any maintenance.
In respect of property, unless you are a joint owner of your home or any other property or business, it could be very difficult to establish a beneficial right to any equity in such assets. It should also be remembered that, once you are married, the starting point for sharing is 50%, whether or not there is a trust deed which specifies holding the property in unequal shares.
So if you are not going to marry, do consider a cohabitation agreement that can go some way to filling the gaps in your rights for financial provision if your relationship ends.
Thursday, October 17th, 2019 Cohabitation