In this section you will find:

  • basic information on what cohabitation is on this page,
  • an outline of the law in relation to claims about the joint home outside of marriage,
  • a section on what to do if you find yourself a victim of domestic violence,
  • information on child maintenance in the UK and
  • an outline of the different financial provisions that can be made for children.

More and more people simply live together without formalising their relationship. Some marry or register as civil partners (if they are a same-sex couple) later on; others never formalise anything. For some people this is because they are opposed to traditional relationship models and gender roles, for others this is a natural progression.

There is no such thing as “common law marriage” in England and Wales and therefore there is no protection for a financially vulnerable party. There is no protection for cohabitants as such. There is limited protection in Scotland.

When there are problems and relationships break down, the law is not so clear as it is on divorce or civil partnership dissolution. There are, however, various legal provisions which help in certain areas. Often more than one of these legal areas is relevant in a case. If you are in a position where you have separated from your partner, you should obtain advice from an expert family lawyer.

If you litigate through the courts about financial issues, this is naturally going to cost money on lawyers (as well as lost wages for days in court and stress etc). The costs could become disproportionate to the money at stake. Mediation is a good and inexpensive way to come to an overall settlement without going to court.

For advice on your specific circumstances contact Andrea Woelke at Alternative Family Law: ring us on 020 7407 4007 (+44 20 7407 4007 from abroad) or us (stating your full name, the full name of the other person in your case and your telephone number on which we can call you).

Please note that we do not have a contract to take on cases on legal aid. To check if you may be able to get legal aid please go to this government website and contact a solicitor who has a legal aid contract.

24  May 2016 by Andrea Woelke