Cohabitation – no such thing as Common Law Marriage

There are more than 6 million cohabiting couples in the UK and the number is rising.

However, despite how common an occurrence it now is, problems can arise frequently for these couples upon death or separation. If you are co-habiting, you do not have the same rights as a married couple; and contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a ‘common-law marriage’.

Cohabiting partners are not recognised under the Intestacy rules which are statutory instrument that governs the situation of someone dying without a Will. Therefore although it may have been the Deceased partners wish for them to inherit, without a Will, it would actually be inherited by the family of the Deceased.

If you separate there is no obligation to support each other financially. An unmarried partner who stays at home to care for children cannot make any claims in their own right for property, maintenance or pension-sharing.

What can Heppenstalls do to help?

  • Will preparation settling the property and also dealing with Guardianship issues
  • Wills made in contemplation of Marriage
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Cohabitation agreements
  • Declarations of Trust

Kerry Richardson is a Solicitor in Private Client who has recently joined Heppenstalls Solicitors having worked in other firms locally.

If you would like to speak with Kerry for assistance or advice please do not hesitate to contact us at New Milton on 01425 610078 or Lymington on 01590 689500.

Thank you so much for making the process of writing our Wills so simple and painless. V&C I'm very grateful you took all of the stress and worry out of the process for me. MrC
Kerry Richardson

Kerry qualified as a Solicitor in 2006 and joined Heppenstalls in 2018.

Kerry specialises in private client work and can advise on Will drafting, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Deputyship applications, Court of Protection matters and Probate and Estate administration. She is a committee member of Bournemouth District Law Society (BDLS) and also the chair of the BDLS Private client group.

Kerry also undertakes work in contentious probate and private client work. She is an associate member of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists). She can advise on any dispute arising from the administration of an estate including contesting a Will, bringing an Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act claim, Removal of Executors, Disputes between Beneficiaries.

To contact Kerry please call our New Milton office on 01425 610078