What every unmarried couple need to know.
Accordingly to the Office of National Statistics, there are approximately 3.3 million unmarried couples living together in the UK. That is 1 family in 5! This is the fastest-growing ‘family type’ over the past 20 years, which has more than doubled from 1.5 million unmarried couples in 1996.
In addition to this, 6 out of every 10 couples living together believe in the myth of ‘common law marriage’ and that they automatically have the same legal right as a married couple if they split up. However, when it comes to money and property, the law concerning couples who are married and those who are not is very different. Which can leave unmarried couples in a precarious situation.
Because finances and property are not shared on the basis of what is ‘fair’ starting with a 50/50 a split, but instead based on the legal paperwork and actual financial contributions.
To safeguard against potentially being left in a very difficult financial position, unmarried couples can take practical steps, including:
• Entering into a ‘Cohabitation Agreement’ can record a couple’s intentions concerning finances and how they will support their children if they separate
• Making a ‘Will’ can ensure financial support is in place, should the unthinkable happen
• Signing a ‘Declaration of Trust’ (aka ‘Trust Deed’) can record the financial contributions made by each person towards a home purchase and how the equity should be shared if a couple separate
The Family Team of solicitors and lawyers at Harold G Walker remain committed to ensuring that clear and accurate advice is easily available to all couples living together, via the regular FREE LEGAL CLINICS.
This team of specialists also support Resolution to help inform all those affected by family issues in our local community.
To discuss your legal position in confidence, a FREE 30-minutes consultation is available by appointment.