Cohabitation Expert

Lincolns Family Law understand that the number of couples living together has steadily increased over recent decades and over 40% of births are now outside marriage. Our knowledge in family matters is exceptional.

Cohabitation Rights and Laws: Many couples who were living together without having gone through the formal legal procedures for marriage are surprised to learn that there is no such thing in law as a “common law marriage” and that they do not enjoy the same rights as married couples when they separate.

Children - Separation agreements can provide for maintenance, division of family property and care of the children. Mediation is similarly available and will normally be required before any application to the court is made, unless deemed unsuitable by a mediator.

How we can help you - The same legal avenues exist for cohabiting couples in relation to children as married couples, although unmarried fathers might not have "Parental Responsibility". A helpful guide is provided by Resolution called "Separation and Divorce". You can also find relevant support on The Law Society site and i-West Sussex.

- Cohabiting couples can seek to divide the assets of the relationship and we can help you with the financial issues arising when you separate.
- Separation Agreements can provide for maintenance, division of the family property and care of the children.
- Mediation is similarly available and will normally be required before any application to the court, unless deemed unsuitable by a mediator.
- Court applications – if you are unable to negotiate a settlement, then you may apply to the court to determine the outcome of your property dispute.
- Cohabitation agreements - even if your relationship is not in trouble you may wish to consider a cohabitation agreement.

These can cover the arrangements for ownership of family property, division of financial assets, children’s issues and other matters that the couple regard as important should they ever separate.

The money advice service has a section on its website devoted to financial information for separating couples. It includes a calculator to help you when looking at any proposed financial arrangements and reviewing your monthly income requirements.