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Realistically, there is limited financial protection for couples who choose to cohabit but do not marry. There is no such thing as a ‘common law husband or wife’.
Below is a brief summary of the position as it affects couples who are not married and choose to cohabit.
If there are any children of the relationship, financial assistance can be sought through the Child Maintenance Service. Our family team at Jackson Quinn can discuss this with you in further depth and lead you through the mine field of the Child Maintenance Service.
If the property is in the name of one party, then they are known as the legal owner of that property and have the power to deal with that property as they please.
If one party does not have a legal interest in that property then that person can claim interest in the property known as a “beneficial interest”.
This area of law is very complicated and specialist advice is essential. At Jackson Quinn, our family team has the knowledge and expertise to guide you through this ever changing area of law.
If the property is in joint names then both parties are the legal owners and both have as much right as each other to deal with that property.
Occasionally applications can be made to the court to exclude an owner from the property. Our family team can discuss the possibility of this with you in further depth. If the property is owned in joint names, either of the parties may also make an application to Court for an order for sale. This is something upon which we can offer specialist advice and representation.
If the property is rented, the right to occupy depends on whose name is on the tenancy. If the tenancy agreement is in one person’s name then that person has the sole right of occupancy. An application can sometimes be made to the Court for a tenancy agreement to be transferred into the other party’s name.
If the tenancy is in joint names, then the right to occupy that property is given to both parties. If one person vacates the property then both parties will be liable for the rent, even if one party is not living there, until the tenancy agreement comes to an end.
The general rule is whoever purchased the item will own the item. If the item was a gift, then the item is owned by the person who received the gift.
Whether your property is owned or rented, in your or your partner’s name or in joint names, Jackson Quinn is able to give you quality and expert advice on the financial implications of a relationship breakdown. Separation is often a very difficult time, but we aim to make the whole experience less stressful by guiding you through the legal complexities in a helpful, supportive manner.