Cohabitation Law

Cohabitation Lawyers

Our specialist cohabitation agreement UK solicitors are ready to advise you about cohabitation and a living together agreement. Call our team on: 0330 107 0107 or arrange a call back.

Cohabitation Agreement UK Solicitors located in Manchester, London and Birmingham

civil partners, married couples

Cohabitation law in the UK governs the legal rights and obligations of couples who live together in a committed relationship without being married or in a civil partnership. Unlike marriage or civil partnership, cohabiting couples do not have the same automatic legal protections. In the UK, there is no specific legislation that recognises a legal status for cohabiting couples, often referred to as “common-law marriage.” As a result, the rights and responsibilities of cohabiting couples are determined by general legal principles, such as property, contract, and family law. Cohabitants may need to consider legal arrangements, such as cohabitation agreements or declarations of trust, to clarify their respective rights and responsibilities regarding property, finances, and children. It is important for cohabiting couples to seek legal advice to understand their legal position, protect their interests, and make informed decisions about their rights and obligations.

The Benefits of Cohabitation Agreements

Entering into a cohabitation agreement offers several benefits for unmarried couples. Firstly, it provides certainty about financial contributions during the relationship. It outlines how property, household expenses, and jointly owned assets will be managed. In cases where one partner owns the property, the agreement can establish whether the other partner has a share in it based on their contributions.

Furthermore, a cohabitation agreement can address financial arrangements for children, whether they are from the current relationship or previous ones. This ensures that children are financially supported even if the relationship ends. By having a clear and comprehensive cohabitation agreement, couples can minimize the risk of disputes and protect their assets and financial interests.

Legal Validity of Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation agreements are legally binding if they are properly executed. It is crucial to seek legal advice and ensure that the agreement meets the necessary requirements to be considered enforceable. At IMD Solicitors, our cohabitation agreement solicitors have extensive experience in drafting and advising clients on cohabitation agreements. We will work closely with you to create a tailored agreement that reflects your specific circumstances and protects your interests.

The Role of Cohabitation Lawyers:

Cohabitation lawyers cohabiting couples, relationship breaks

When it comes to cohabitation and unmarried family matters, having the guidance of a skilled cohabitation lawyer is essential. Cohabitation lawyers specialize in family law and have in-depth knowledge of the legal complexities surrounding cohabiting relationships.

Cohabitation lawyers can help you draft a comprehensive and legally sound cohabitation agreement. They will ensure that the agreement covers all necessary aspects, including property rights, financial responsibilities, and child arrangements. With their expertise, you can have peace of mind knowing that your interests are protected. They can provide expert advice and representation in various areas, including:

Dispute Resolution

In the event of a relationship breakdown, cohabitation lawyers can guide you through the process of resolving disputes. They can help you explore alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to reach amicable solutions without the need for lengthy court proceedings. If litigation becomes necessary, cohabitation lawyers will provide strong advocacy to protect your rights and achieve a fair outcome.

Financial Matters

Financial issues often arise when a cohabiting relationship ends. Cohabitation lawyers can assist in navigating complex financial matters, including property division, asset protection, and maintenance arrangements. They will work diligently to ensure that your financial interests are safeguarded and that you receive a fair settlement.

Child Arrangements

For cohabiting couples with children, cohabitation lawyers can help negotiate and establish child arrangements that prioritize the best interests of the child. They will advocate for fair custody, visitation rights, and child support arrangements, ensuring that the child’s welfare is protected throughout the process.

Contact Our Family Law Solicitors Today

Our UK offices are located in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

Call our multi-cultural cohabitation experts today on: 0330 107 0107 or arrange a call back.

Call now to discuss your case: 0330 107 0107
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Example of cases we have dealt with:

F v F - Acted for a German husband in a complex financial remedy matter. He decided to instruct IMD Solicitors after he had lost trust in his previously instructed solicitors and feared that he would not achieve a favourable outcome from the proceedings. The relevant assets were spread across the globe with some located in the UK (including a multi-million pound business), Gibraltar, Spain, Dubai, and Poland. The overall value of assets exceeded £24 million. The husband had been cut off from the matrimonial assets and excluded from control of the business that had been established by his family. The case involved the instruction of numerous experts, for business valuations, Capital Gains Tax reports, and opinions on the enforcement of orders in foreign jurisdictions, and dealing with several applications, including applications for orders to freeze assets, prevent the disposition of assets, for the joinder of parties, and to litigate conduct issues. The final result exceeded the client’s expectations.
L v L - We were instructed by a mother in a complex international children matter. She was required by orders of the UK courts to return the child to the UK from Poland. She had travelled with the child to Poland but, following unsuccessful application to extend her stay there in August 2017, she decided not to return to the UK because the child disclosed sexual abuse by a member of the paternal family and the father. In September 2018, the Polish court dismissed the father’s Hague Convention application for the child's return on the basis of Article 13(b), a decision which the father appealed. In March 2019, the father applied to the UK High Court for an order for the child’s return pursuant to the procedure set out in Article 11(6) – (8) of the Brussels IIA Regulation. Despite the father's unsuccessful Hague Convention application in Poland, the UK court ordered the return of the child. Article 11 does not allow the court of the returning country much discretion. After all of this, the mother instructed IMD Solicitors to apply to discharge the orders of the UK Court for the return of the child. Even in the face of the fact that most applications to discharge such return orders fail, we succeeded. We are currently awaiting a decision in the UK courts on a further application for the transfer of jurisdiction to the Polish courts where the mother resides with the child.
G v P - We represent a Spanish mother in respect of an urgent application for a Child Arrangements Order and Specific Issue Order in the UK seeking the relocation of the child to Spain. This was after the return of the child to the UK under Hague Convection proceedings which this mother lost in Spain. She was asking for an order for the relocation of the child back to Spain and an urgent interim Child Arrangements Order to allow her to see the child pending the final outcome of the UK proceedings. IMD successfully argued that, regardless of the return of the child to the UK under the Hague Convention, the mother should be allowed unsupervised overnight contact with the child. We were delighted to be able to secure her contact with the child for Christmas and she said that it was the best Christmas gift she could have wished for. The outcome of the application for the relocation is pending.
S v V - We currently represent the father in Child Arrangements Order proceedings issued by the mother in relation to variation of a UK order made in the face of numerous other international proceedings. He is an Italian National who has been living in France for the last 20 years and the mother is a Lithuanian national. The child is now 11 years old and proceedings concerning the child have been ongoing in various jurisdictions for the majority of the child`s life. Contested divorce proceedings including child arrangements took place in Monaco. The French Court and authorities were also involved, and various proceedings had been ongoing between parties since 2013 in France and Monaco. The parties’ divorce was pronounced in Monaco. Thereafter, in December 2020, the mother submitted an application to relocate to England with the child, and the relocation took place in June 2021. Upon relocation, the she lodged a child arrangement order application, seeking to register a judgment made in Monaco and to vary the same in respect of the contact arrangements between the father and the child. The father seeks for the child’s return to Monaco. Due to the parties’ mutual allegations and the associated international elements, various authorities and courts that have been involved in the case, the local authority has become involved with the family and a guardian has been instructed to represent the child in the UK proceedings. At present, these proceedings in England are ongoing and the outcome of the professional reports regarding the family are awaited.  
P v P - We have acted for the Respondent Husband in relation to the financial remedy proceedings in the UK. The parties had various assets in the UK and Romania consisting mainly of the portfolio of properties but conduct issues were raised by the Wife due to a business of the Husband over which she had lost control and her allegations of dissipation of assets. The value of assets excluding the business were in a region of £3 million. 
K v K - We act in financial remedy proceedings for a wife who is a Polish national. The matter's complexity mainly comes from a dispute between the parties around land in Poland. Its value was initially in dispute but was then assessed by a joint expert to be in the region of half a million pounds. The total assets in this case are estimated to be worth over £1 million. The land in Poland is a subject to contract with a third party and is being leased as a photovoltaic (solar) farm. The division of the land to achieve an equal share of the assets is complicated due to the contract in place and plans for the future use of the land. Currently the parties are awaiting a final hearing but efforts are being made to reach a settlement with the aid of alternative dispute resolution and in order to save the parties money and avoid further delays.
R v O - We acted pro bono and worked together with a law firm in Poland to ensure that the Costa Rican Mother regains access to her child. The Mother's only child was abducted from the UK in 2014. The Mother was successful with the abduction case and the UK family courts ordered the return of the child. The orders were recognised in Poland but unfortunately due to various issues with the Mother's immigration status and court's delays in Poland, the orders were never enforced. The Mother was facing removal from the UK and prospects of never seeing her child again. We have corresponded with various courts in Poland dealing with international abduction matters and we decided that an application for contact should be issued rather than any proceedings for further enforcement of the orders, as the Mother had not seen the child for around 7 years. At the same we secured the Mother's stay in the UK making successful outside of immigration rules application to extend her stay. We now receive regular photos from the Mother with her daughter, as face to face contact is taking place. We helped to secure an order of the Polish courts for the Mother to see the child regularly in person, whilst when she instructed us she was facing a prospect of never seeing her child again and being deported to Costa Rica.

Awards and Accreditations

Advice Centre

Apr 2024

Family Law Across Borders: A Case of Protection and Perseverance

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