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One of the most common phrases that Family lawyers hear is that of common law husband or wife, suggesting that people believe that they are entitled to a share of another person’s assets even if they are not married because they have lived together.
Unfortunately, specific laws relating to cohabiting couples do not exist and do not reflect the changes in society and the fact that more people are choosing to live together rather than getting married.
There is no such concept of common law husband and wife and it does not matter how long you live together you will not necessarily have any claim against your partners assets if you are not married.
Any dispute in relation to property owned will depend on the circumstances in which the property was purchased and potentially the intention of the parties regarding their rights to the property during the relationship. Similarly, in the event of your death in the absence of a will, your partner could find themselves homeless without the ability to make a claim against the property they have occupied.
The law also does not make provision for claims against savings and investments and there is no provision for pension to be shared in the event of the relationship breaking down. Some pension companies will also refuse to treat the partner as a beneficiary under death benefits.
It is therefore essential when entering a relationship and buying a house together that you take independent legal advice which considers how to protect the positions of you and your partner both immediately and in the future.
If you would like further advice and assistance regarding this issue or any other issue arising following a relationship breakdown please do not hesitate to contact Nowell Meller at either our Stoke on Trent office on 01782 813315 or our Stafford office on 01785 252377 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our specialist Family Team offer advice and representation. Contact us now to book your free initial consultation to discuss the options available to you.