Unmarried Couples

Contrary to popular opinion there is no such thing as a common law husband or wife. Unmarried couples have different legal rights and responsibilities in relation to property, finances and children to married couples.


Setting up home together, but do not wish to marry?

For couples setting up home together, but not wishing to marry, a living together agreement (otherwise known as a “cohabitation agreement”) can perform a similar function as a pre-nuptial agreement. A living together agreement provides the framework for couples to record their intentions and their respective contributions. This can help set aside any fears they may have prior to living together, leaving them feeling safe in the knowledge that if the relationship was to break down, they would be protected financially.

For separating couples

For unmarried couples who wish to separate, we can advise you on the legal implications of your separation and how best to resolve financial matters. Such agreements are often recorded in a Separation Agreement and we can draft this for you. This is a specialist area of law and we strongly suggest you seek legal advice before agreeing a financial settlement with the other party.


If you have children together, then you may need to take advice about whether the father has parental responsibility for your children.

A mother automatically has parental responsibility for their children. That means they have certain rights to determine where the child lives, which schools they attend and how, when and if they access medical treatment.

A father only automatically has parental responsibility if:

  • He is married to the mother
  • The child was born after 1 December 2003 he is named on the birth certificate

A father can obtain parental responsibility by:

  • Marrying the child’s mother
  • Entering into a voluntary Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother
  • Obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order from the court.

If you wish to discuss matters please call us on 01626 33 33 80 or complete our Request a Call Back form and we will call you back, at a time to suit you, free of charge.

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Personal Injury Lawyers

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