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.

loading staff

We're widely accredited for our work - family law

  • Chambers
  • Legal 500

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf. Over the years our family law team has been recognised by industry awards and accredited for their excellence.

Memberships & accreditations

8.5 out of 10
Trustpilot logo4-stars on trustpilot Based on count 310

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

The level of service that was provided was excellent and one which was professional, understanding and the most important for me was empathy. I myself am a very organised individual and like things done on time without delay, Stephensons understood this and respected what was important to me and for children.
View from a family, children & divorce law client

Are parent's rights protected during care proceedings?

Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 provides that "everyone has the right to respect for private and family life". How is this right maintained when the state intervenes and a care order in respect of the child of a family is made? A care...

Read more

Twitter block 1 tweet

How are you celebrating the Royal wedding?

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle takes place on Saturday, with bunting going up across the nation as we prepare to celebrate with the happy couple. We’d love to see how you’re marking the occasion so if you’re having a...

Read more

Family reorder

  • Victoria Gethin
  • Mike Devlin
  • ​Karen Atkins
  • ​​Gwyneth John
  • Victoria Melling
  • ​Andrew Mountain
  • Amanda Rimmer
  • Donna Roberts
  • Lauren Day
  • ​Tim Galbraith
  • Kath Geere
  • ​Nicola McDaid
  • Jackie Price
  • Ceri Thomas
  • Gillian Tuck​
  • Anna White
  • Laura Simmons
  • Lauren Evans
  • ​Hanna Fayle
  • ​Catherine Gaskell
  • Therasa Kenny
  • Kay Leonard
  • Claire Pilling

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.