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Couples who cohabit have fewer automatic legal rights than those who are married, although there are ways of protecting your position and dealing with difficult issues that may arise during separation.
At Devonalds, our family law solicitors can advise you in respect of all aspects of cohabitation disputes to include making arrangements in respect of finances, property and children if you separate.
Our services include:
- Advice on cohabitation rights for unmarried couples
- Financial settlements for unmarried couples
- Child arrangements for unmarried couples
Why choose Devonalds?
Genuine legal expertise from solicitors at the heart of your local community
Our family law team are proud to be part of the local community. You will find us friendly and approachable, as well as supportive of local initiatives and businesses. Many of our firm are from the area, and all of us are committed to providing the best possible service to our clients here.
We are known for building long-lasting relationships with clients and their families and work hard to live up to our reputation as trusted legal advisers to the people Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend.
Advice, guidance and support from family lawyers with decades of experience
Our family solicitors have been advising people in respect of all aspects of family law, including cohabitation rights and the legal rights of unmarried couples, for over 30 years. As well as sound legal guidance, you will find understanding and support from our cohabitation law experts.
If you ask us to help you, you can be sure that your case will be in experienced hands and that we will do our utmost to secure the best outcome for you and your family. Our Family solicitors have wide experience of dealing successfully with all aspects of the legal rights involved in living together and will give you the advice you need as well as excellent service throughout.
Fast and efficient representation
We understand how difficult the uncertainty of dealing with a separation can be. If you ask us to represent you, we will work quickly and proactively to try to resolve issues without undue delay. We will always keep you updated on the progress of your case and respond to your calls so that you can discuss any issues that arise.
We aim to make outstanding legal advice available to as many people as possible. For this reason, you will find our fees competitive. We will ensure that you have a clear idea of the likely cost of representation from the start.
Resolution without conflict
Wherever possible, we place great emphasis on resolving matters without undue conflict. Our team have excellent negotiation skills and are regularly able to reach an agreement without the need for litigation.
How our solicitors can help you
Advice on cohabitation rights for unmarried couples
If you are living with someone or thinking about moving in together, you may want some advice on your rights. This can be particularly relevant when major life events happen, such as buying a property together or the birth of a child.
We can advise you of cohabitation rights of unmarried couples and explain how to safeguard yourself legally as a cohabitee, for example, by ensuring that the way in which you own property means that your contributions will be protected.
Financial settlements for unmarried couples
Unlike married couples, unmarried couples do not have the right to claim assets from the other, no matter how long they have been together. This means that, on separation, the parties will generally keep the assets that are in their own names.
However, there may be times when one party can make a claim against an asset held by the other party. For example, if one party owns the home that they share but the other party has contributed substantial capital, then they may receive an award recognising this. We can advise you as to your rights, and where you have a claim, we will put together a strong case on your behalf.
Where the couple has children, the court will also make provisions for them, which could include an order in respect of property, a lump sum and/or maintenance.
When a cohabiting couple owns a property, and a dispute arises over it, the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, known as ToLATA, may give them the right to make a claim.
ToLATA covers both the situation where two people own a property jointly and where only one party is registered as the legal owner, but a second person has a claim over it because of promises that have been made as to ownership.
The court can be asked to decide cohabitation property rights, including who owns the property, in what shares and who can remain at the property. It also has the power to order a sale of the property.
Child arrangements for unmarried couples
The courts prefer that parents make arrangements for children without the need for a hearing wherever possible. We can help you try to negotiate child arrangements that you are happy with and, where this cannot be achieved, support you through the mediation process to attempt to find a resolution.
Once you reach an agreement with your child’s other parent, we can arrange for this to be sealed by the court into a binding child arrangements order so that you can rely on it.
Issues that will be dealt with in a child arrangements agreement include where the child will live, how long they will spend with each parent and how they will stay in contact with their parents during the time that they are apart.
Our solicitors’ fees
Fixed fee cohabitation advice
We are able to agree on fixed fee funding for some cohabitation issues to give you certainty over the costs involved.
Flexible funding arrangements
It is our belief that everyone should have access to excellent legal advice. To support this, we offer a range of flexible funding options to try and ensure that our services are widely available to those in our community.
We understand that there is often a degree of financial uncertainty when you are going through a separation, and to this end, we also offer deferred fee agreements.
Speak to one of our solicitors today
Our team of expert lawyers will be happy to discuss your situation with you and advise you of your options.