It can get extremely confusing regarding the rights of couples, especially when they have been living together for many years but have remained unmarried. This is becoming more of a consideration as young people are deciding not to marry for many reasons including bad experiences of a parental divorce or a disinterest in traditional custom.
But that leaves many people in the lurch should the relationship break down, as although divorce can be a messy affair, cohabiting couples can still have many financial ties, but without the same rights as married couples have.
This means that cohabiting couples who are not married generally have fewer rights than those who have tied the knot legally. This can be particularly sticky should the unmarried couple have children. Without automatic parental responsibility, the father of any children may find that they have restricted access to their children and cannot make important decisions for their children’s future.
Family solicitors in Portsmouth are able to provide correct advice from the outset, which can avoid many issues that present themselves as a separating couple go through the process of sorting out their affairs.
What generally happens with cohabiting couples?
A cohabitant is the general term for partners who are living together but are not married. It doesn’t matter whether a couple has been cohabiting for 2 months or 20 years, they are often very reliant on the same process that is available to them.
The Trusts Law is set in motion to resolve any disputes that a cohabiting couple may have over jointly owned property. It should be impressed here that it is very wise to speak to a lawyer or gain some form of professional and legal advice on the legal effect of purchasing a property together when the buyers are not married.
By making simple assurances at the outset that are legally binding and agreed upon, it can avoid a lot of headaches and confusion should the relationship break down later down the track.
However, when there is no written agreement as such in place, regardless of any individual contributions that may or may not have been given, it is assumed that the property is owned equally. When the property is in a single name, it can be more difficult to establish a share.
By seeking legal advice once it is determined that the relationship has broken down, and making sure that all the information has been given to the solicitors to handle, people are doing their best to create the circumstances for the best possible outcome in any given situation.
A non-confrontational and constructive approach is always taken as this has been proven to provide everyone with the best results, financially and emotionally. Any children that are involved are considered to be of the utmost importance and their comfort and safety are paramount.
Clients should feel free to discuss any concerns and questions that they may have with their solicitor, in order to gain a full understanding of their legal situation and the best route they can take in going forward.