Cohabitation Disputes FAQs

Are there automatic rights if you have lived together for a long time or have children?

No, there are currently no automatic rights for cohabitees regardless of length of cohabitation, financial input into the relationship or children. The court has no regard for the relationship itself and couples are essentially treated by the law as friends who happen to have lived together.

Can I get my ex-partner out of the property?

If the property is in joint names your partner has a right to live in the property. If there are any issues of violence or you are concerned for your safety contact the police and get urgent legal advice. If the property is in your sole name you can ask your partner to leave.

I don't want to go to court what can I do?

We will discuss with you what your legal rights are; we can help with mediation where you reach an agreement with your ex-partner without taking any court action. Contact the family line team on 0203 816 0548.

My belongings are in the property, my partner has thrown me out, what can I do?

The police may help you retrieve some of your belongings. If the property is in joint names you can force entry into the property as long as you repair any damage.

What if my partner has been made bankrupt? 

The same rights apply against a trustee in bankruptcy as a partner. We can offer advice and assistance in dealing with them, call us on 0203 816 0548.

What if the property is in my ex-partner’s sole name?

You have no automatic right to stay in the property but you may have a claim for a share of the property. The law is very complicated and you should get advice. You should try and keep any bank statements or receipts which prove you have made a contribution to the property.

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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.