Understanding Cohabitation Rights
It is a popular misconception that common law marriages exist.
The circumstances when an unmarried partner can make a financial claim against the other on separation are limited.
If there are children a claim can be made under Schedule 1 of the Children Act.
Alternatively if the family home is held in the name of one partner, the other may assert that they have an interest in the home based on trust law principles.
If it was the partners’ intention to share the ownership of the house and one partner made contributions to it, for example by funding the deposit or paying the mortgage, they can make an application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
In order to prevent problems on separation couples may wish to consider a cohabitation agreement.