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.

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24  May 2016 by Andrea Woelke