Cohabitation is the phrase used to describe couples who live together without getting married. The number of couples choosing to do this has increased over the years. However, what happens to the property if the relationship breaks down?
When an unmarried couple separates, the law on finances is very different than if the couple were married. There is a common misconception that couples who have lived together are common law husband and wife. This is incorrect.
Following the end of a relationship, the biggest issue tends to be what should happen to the property. If the property is owned jointly then the equity should be divided equally. If this is not the case then some of the main issues that will be considered are:
- The intention of the parties when the property was purchased
- The purpose of the property when it was purchased
- The welfare of any children living in the property
- Any mortgage or other claim on the property
This is a complex area of law and it is advisable to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity following separation.
Please contact our Family department on 0161 624 6811 (Option 5) to arrange an appointment.