Cohabitation Rights Bill
The rights and entitlements of separating couples who are cohabiting and unmarried are commonly raised by clients of our cohabitation solicitors. Many unmarried couples that are living together assume that after long cohabitation, they will be entitled to claim a share of their partner’s assets when they separate. However, this is not the case in current UK law.
Under the current UK law, cohabiting relationships divide jointly owned property if they separate, but if there are assets held in their sole names, such as pensions, savings and investments, these will not be divided. This usually leaves people who choose to cohabit in a vulnerable position.
The Cohabitation Rights Bill aims to change the law and allow couples with children, or couples without children who have lived together for two or more years, the right to apply for a financial settlement in the case of separation. The potential financial settlement options can take the form of
– a cash lump sum
– the transfer of a property to their sole name
– the ability to insist on the sale of their partner’s property to receive a share of the proceeds.
In order to qualify for this financial settlement, you would need to either show that:
– you have suffered an economic disadvantage as a result of the relationship or
– that you have made a contribution to the assets. This is not necessarily financial.
For instance, it can be caring for children or maintaining your home
The aim of the new Cohabitation Rights Bill should be good news for many cohabitees in long-term relationships. However, if the decision not to get married has been made and you both choose that you do not want to qualify for any potential financial settlements then there is an option to ‘opt out’.
How Henry Hyams family law solicitors can help with our services for cohabitees
Our specialist cohabitee lawyers have the experience and expertise to guide you through property rights for unmarried couples and any issues that you may be experiencing.
Should you have any questions about the new Cohabitation Rights Bill or would like to talk to one of our cohabitation solicitors in Leeds, please contact us on the email below or contact us on 0113 2432288.
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