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Rise in cohabitation cases

Rise in cohabitation cases

Cohabiting couples are increasingly seeking legal advice as their relationships breakdown, according to The Law Society. The recession has sparked a boom, with relationships breaking up as economic pressures, such as redundancy, continue. With less couples marrying, it is likely that this figure will continue to rise. There have been a number of calls for the law to be changed to give unmarried couples the same rights as those that are married or in civil partnerships.

Many cohabiting couples do not realise that they do not have the same rights as married couples. As Resolution, the organisation for family lawyers, points out, the myth of ‘common law marriage’ has contributed to a lack of awareness of cohabitation rights. Women are particularly at risk as they are more likely to have made financial and career sacrifices, and can potentially be left with little or nothing after a breakup.

Roopa Alhuwalia, Senior Solicitor and family law specialist at IBB Solicitors, says: “The law surrounding cohabiting couples is different to married couples. It can certainly be less generous. Whilst pre-nuptial agreements in the country are not legally binding, declarations of trust for cohabiting couples can be, if drawn up and adhered to properly. Therefore anyone thinking of investing their hard earned money into a property jointly with their partner should seek legal advise to ensure that they are fully financially protected should that relationship breakdown.”

IBB Solicitors' Family and Matrimonial team helps families across West London and Bucks. For advice, contact a member of the team, call us on 01494 790007 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.