“When cohabitees split up, the distribution of property can be a legal minefield. Be sure to seek advice at an early stage.” Debra Emery, Partner and Head of Family
The law states that unmarried couples whose children are born since December 2003 have joint parental responsibility automatically, provided they are both registered on the child’s birth certificate. Where a child was born before December 2003, parents will not automatically have joint responsibility. We can advise on rectifying this issue and many other matters relating to cohabitation.
If you are cohabiting, or thinking about doing so, you may wish to consider a cohabitation agreement to protect your interests in the unfortunate event of the relationship breaking down in years ahead. We are able to provide for the future settlement of property, protecting assets held prior to the start of the relationship, as well as advising on Wills and inheritance matters. Where there are children involved, we can advise on putting property in trust and making appropriate financial provision.
If your relationship has sadly broken down, we can advise you on your particular situation regarding the settlement of property and assets and any issues relating to children. As there is no automatic right under present law for a cohabitee to be entitled to a share of their partner’s assets, where appropriate they can apply for a share of property and monies to be held in trust for the children of that relationship. We advise our clients on residence and contact issues with a view to resolving the situation as quickly and sympathetically as possible.