At Prentice Family Law, we understand that there are many different forms of relationships. Some people choose not to marry for a variety of reasons, such as keeping their relationship secular, or simply do not feel the need. When couples live together, in legal terms this is called cohabitation. According to current law, unmarried couples do not have automatically enforceable rights if they break up and separate, as these relationships are not legally recognised, unlike marriages. However under certain laws separating couples might be able to make some claims. If children are also involved in the separation the primary carer of the child is also likely to be able to make some claims under the 1989 Children Act. Recommendations have been made for increasing the rights separating unmarried couples have, however not a lot has changed in the law since then.

What kind of rights do unmarried couples have in relation to property?

As cohabitation is not a legally recognised form of relationship, the rights separating cohabiting couples are limited. If you would like to make your relationship status more formal with your partner, certain types of agreements, called cohabitation agreements can be made between the parties. If you are looking for a divorce solicitor in Guildford to discuss your options, book a free consultation with us now. We can advise you seven days a week from any location, and we always call back on the same day. At Prentice Family Law we can discuss a cohabitation agreement for unmarried partners in order to lay out the rights and obligations that the partners may have.

What exactly are cohabitation agreements?

Cohabitation agreements are very similar to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, except that in these cases a marriage does not form. These types of agreements serve as guidelines for agreeing on the division of important factors such as property and other assets, belongings, children’s custody, joint bank accounts, cars, or debt in case the couple would break up. Cohabitation agreements can also be used for laying down rules on for example how you will be sharing the costs of everyday life. It is very important to note that cohabitation agreements are not automatically enforceable by the law, but they can serve as important guidelines for living together. We can help you find a divorce solicitor in Guildford, and complete cohabitation agreements with a free first consultation over the phone. Later costs are determined by the proposed complexity of the agreement.

Civil partnerships

Civil partnerships are significantly different to cohabitation. Civil partnerships are technically secular marriages, as civil partnerships in most jurisdictions provide similar if not equal rights and benefits to that of a marriage. Civil partnerships are most often made between couples of the same sex, or non-religious couples wanting a secular form of official partnership. The process of separation with civil partnerships is very similar to a divorce, and the property and wealth division rights are also similar. Pre-registration agreements, which are the civil partnership equivalents of prenuptial agreements can be requested from a divorce solicitor in Guildford before entering a civil partnership, thus settling potential issues that can arise from separation before that would even happen.