Cohabitation couples are partners who live together but are not married or part of a civil partnership.

Although, cohabitation is usually between couples who live together, however, it can also occur between friends. This is becoming more the case recently as house prices have risen and it has become increasingly difficult to purchase solely. As a result people are purchasing houses jointly.

The problem is that couples usually make the assumption that because they have been living together for many years, they get automatic legal rights as a married couple would.

If a case went to Court, the judge would not take into consideration the amount of time cohabiting couples have lived together or that they maintained the household over the years. In order to establish any legal rights, an individual would need to prove certain other factors to be able to get legal rights over the property.

What you may have to prove in Court if dispute arises

When a dispute arises, it is necessary to show financial payments were made in respect of the property that the couple are cohabiting in, for example each partner would need to prove that they paid bills or the mortgage on a regular basis.

In addition, they may have to prove that they paid towards the deposit of the property, or a substantial contribution towards home improvements.

The Office of National Statistics have recently found that more unmarried couples in their 30’s are living together. This does not offer enough legal protection and there is a call on the Government to reform the law of cohabitation that fits in with the ever changing society that we live in today.

At Ansham White Solicitors our expert team can advice on your rights in respect of your property should there be a dispute. We carefully consider the circumstances of the case and if there are issues relating to the sale of the property or if you are interested in purchasing your partner’s share of the home, we are here to guide you with regards to your legal rights.

Ansham White – Wills and Probate Solicitors