Cohabiting: no law for common law
More and more people are choosing to simply live together rather than enter into either marriage or a civil partnership, with more than 3 million people in the UK opting for this lifestyle.
Unfortunately, many people still wrongly believe that as a “common-law partner” they will benefit from the same legal rights as those in legal unions.
The harsh reality is that the only automatic rights available to them is in relation to jointly owned property, or financial provision for any children under 18 where both parties are the parents.
All other claims such as contributions to mortgage repayments, home improvements, or contributing to the purchase, or claims made under the Provision for Family and Dependants Act 1975, will result in litigation costs.
Whilst a Bill to protect the rights of all couples who have lived together for more than 3 years was presented to the House of Lords in 2019, they are still less than for those in a legal relationship.
The Bill is currently awaiting its second reading in the Lords but new laws can take years to implement.
In the meantime, the public need to be made aware that unless they have a Will in place they could end up with no rights over the family home or their partner’s estate.
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