Posted in Conveyancing
As experienced conveyancing solicitors who have overseen countless happy house moves over the years, we feel it vital to highlight a problem in our profession, which the public needs to be aware of. The issue centres on a total lack of legal protection when couples get together and move into a home before marriage.
Unmarried couples need to take the right action to prevent acrimonious legal rows. If they split up before marriage, too many trusts that the course of true love will always run smooth and leave themselves open to a potential hideous property dispute.
Now, as we settle into 2017, there are more than double the numbers of co-habiting couples living in the UK than there were just 20 years ago and too many think that they have some kind of legal rights.
The plain fact is that without a marriage or a civil partnership, there is no real legal protection, so it is sensible to see a solicitor to ensure that if you split up both of you can take what is legally yours without acrimony. Writing a cohabitation agreement showing what assets are there at the start of a relationship and how they should be divided if the relationship ends is generally a good move.
Also, just to re-iterate, a co-habiting person has no legal rights to stay in a home or take any assets not owned by them, so a cohabitation agreement or declaration of trust, laying out how assets would be divided if they split up also makes sense. Of course, having joint names on the mortgage is a very sensible step too. There are now an estimated six million co-habiting couple in the UK and family set ups are much more diverse than in times gone by. Whilst society has moved on the law hasn’t really caught up.
We at Pindoria Solicitors have to try to forewarn individuals that they need to look after themselves legally if the worst does happen, and then at least they don’t also have a property dispute to contend with.
Anybody wishing to know more about this topic or discuss the benefits of using expert conveyancing solicitors or legal protection around co-habitation is urged to contact us at Pindoria Solicitors on 020 8951 6959.