Cohabitation disputes - unmarried property

Our team of dispute resolution solicitors are able to advise and assist you in relation to any cohabitation dispute you may have. Cohabiting couples are partners who live together but are not married or part of a civil partnership. Speak to our cohabitation dispute specialists on 0203 816 9314 for advice.

Cohabitation disputes can also arise between friends who live together or even family members. It is becoming increasingly common due to the housing market that many people are purchasing properties with friends, partners or family members.

 

loading staff

Do unmarried couples have the same rights as married couples?

Many unmarried couples live with the assumption that if they have cohabited for a number of years they have similar legal rights to those couples that are married. This myth is normally referred to as ‘common law wife or husband’. This is not the case and the courts will not take into account the length of time you have lived together or even if one of the parties has contributed to the household by raising children and being responsible for the running of the family home.

This obviously causes a problem when a property is in the sole name of one of the parties. If the property is registered in the sole name of one of the parties, the person who is not named will have to prove that they are entitled to an interest in it. There are various ways to show that you have an interest in the property. Firstly, is when the owner of the property told you that you have an interest when the property was purchased or when you moved into the property. You should have also contributed to the property by financial payments i.e. payment of or towards the household bills or the mortgage. A second method of obtaining an interest is by way of implied intention. Intention can be ‘implied’ if the other party has contributed towards the purchase price usually by the way of contributions towards the mortgage or the deposit of the property. The courts may find implied intention when the parties finances are simply pooled and all household payments are met from that account. A further method of obtaining an interest is if you have provided a substantial contribution to the property for example by paying for a home improvement.

Disputes also arise when the property has been registered in joint names. These disputes tend to arise when one person refuses to leave the property or refuses to agree to the sale of the property. This can stop the parties being able to move on following separation. Advice can be given as to each of your rights in respect of access to the property, how to affect a sale without the consent of the other party or even on purchasing the other party’s interest in the property.

8.8 out of 10
Trustpilot logo4-stars on trustpilot Based on count 390

We're Great

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.

Our Trustpilot reviews

An outstanding professional service from all the staff I dealt and spoke with. Friendly as well as informative and helpful, fast to reply to any queries. A credit to their profession, second to none in my book.
View from a dispute resolution client

How can Stephensons help?

Contact our specialist team to obtain advice in respect of the options available to you should a dispute arise, or even in the event you simply require advice prior to any forthcoming separation. We will strive to reach a solution to your case and every attempt will be made to make the agreement without the involvement of the courts. Other alternative methods are available such as mediation which can provide an independent setting for you to discuss your options with your ex-partner, friend or family member. If an amicable settlement cannot be reached we are of course able to represent you at the courts to obtain the outcome you desire.

Should a dispute arise we would suggest you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the breakdown of your relationship does not result in the loss of your home and other assets. 

Areas of specialism

  • Advice following separation from an unmarried partner
  • Separation agreements to confirm a settlement
  • Court action to enforce rights
  • Dealing with Trustees in bankruptcy
  • Cohabitation agreements

Thinking of buying a new build home? Ensure you are covered

Buying a new home is often one of the biggest purchases of our lives. It is an exciting yet often worrying time. Most new homes are covered by a builder’s warranty; the most common being the National House Building Control (NHBC). You may agree to...

Read more

Twitter block 1 tweet

Morrisons appeals High Court compensation ruling

The supermarket chain, Morrisons is taking a legal battle to the Court of Appeal following a ruling by the High Court that thousands of its employees could pursue a compensation claim against the retailer following the disclosure of its employee’s...

Read more

Dispute resolution reorder

  • Andrew Leakey
  • Liam Waine
  • Joanne Ellis
  • Heather Bailey
  • Niall Helferty​
  • Claire Richardson

We're always here for you

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.

Find your nearest Stephensons office and arrange a meeting

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.