LIVING TOGETHER – is harder than you think?

Six out of ten couples who live together believe that they have the same protection as married couples if they split up. They don’t.


The common held believe that if you live with someone for more than six months you will be entitled to half of their assets is a myth. Nor is there any such thing as a “common law marriage”.


Most people plan and research which mortgage product to have when they buy a house or use comparison web sites to get the best deal on insurances/credit cards etc. Yet the same people fail to research and consider what impact, both financially and emotionally, they will face if they separate from an unmarried partner, especially if a property and children are concerned.


The law currently protects spouses/civil partners but co-habitants don’t have the same protection.


The family home and your right to occupy it could be in jeopardy if you have no entitlement to remain.


If where you live is in your partner’s sole name, you do not have an automatic right to a share in the equity. You have to prove that you have made a capital financial contribution either towards its initial purchase or, some time thereafter, towards its upkeep/improvement.   Also that this contribution was based upon an agreement that you had with your partner that you would ultimately share the property.


The strength of your case will depend on what evidence you have. Please be aware, that the costs of proving it may outweigh the benefit.


Even if you own a house jointly with your partner your share may not be clear or may not reflect any change in your circumstances.


If you have children the father will only have parental responsibility automatically if he was registered as the father on the birth certificate after the first of December 2003. Otherwise he needs the formal agreement of the mother or an order of the court.


If your partner dies without making a will, you are not entitled to any part of their estate automatically and even then you would have to have been living together for two years prior to their death or be wholly dependant upon them before you can apply.


With a little planning you can protect yourself and your children in the event of you and your partner separating. With your home and financial security at stake can you afford not to?


For more information contact our Miss Greta Williamson on 01538 383201 or 01538 754253 or by email at