• Contact Us

Top Tips for Unmarried Couples

on Wednesday, 29 September 2021.

Cohabitation increased by 137% between 1996 and 2000 and yet the law hasn't kept up. The rights of unmarried couples significantly differ to the married ones and there is a myth that if you live together as man and wife there is a 'common law marriage'.

This article will provide some top tips for unmarried couples which can be put in place at the outset but also for those who have already separated.

How to Protect Your Interests

  • Obtain Specialist Advice at the Time of Purchase
    There are different ways that properties can be owned. Take the time to discuss this together and to obtain advice. Make sure when you complete and sign the Transfer Deed (the TR1) and that the correct box as to ownership has been ticked.
  • Declarations of Trust
    A declaration of trust can be put in place by anyone co-owning a property. This document accurately records what share of the property you and the co-owners own and details the contributions which have been made at the time of purchase.
  • Cohabitation Agreements
    This document will set out how property, capital and assets are owned and how they should be divided upon separation to ensure that there is an accurate record of your agreement at the time.

What Can You Do If You Face a Dispute?

Have you:

  • invested money into a property but it is held in your partner's sole name?
  • agreed to joint ownership initially but there was an agreement part way through the relationship which you believe altered the share you own?
  • been served with an order for sale of the property and you need urgent advice?

Whatever your situation we will be able to assist you moving forwards. Below are some top tips if you have already separated:

  • Obtain Advice at the Outset
    It is much better to try to resolve matters at the outset and to work towards reaching a settlement outside of Court proceedings which is much more cost-effective for all parties.
  • Pull Together Your Documentation As Soon As Possible
    The work in these cases is frontloaded and much will depend upon the evidence provided. A specialist solicitor will be able to let you know the key documents needed from you to be able to provide you with tailored legal advice.
  • If Court Proceedings Have Been Issued
    Seek specialist advice immediately. Many firms will have family departments who advise unmarried couples but these claims are civil claims and the rules which govern them are the Civil Procedure Rules. We have specialists in our family team who have the expertise within civil claims and are aware of the strict rules and deadlines which apply. It is crucial that these claims are dealt with in the right way because setting off on the wrong foot could really set you back during the course of the proceedings, could increase your costs and potentially have a detrimental impact on your position.

For more information please contact Emily Roskilly in our Private Client team on 07468 698 927, or at eroskilly@vwv.co.uk. Alternatively please complete the form below.

Get in Touch

First name(*)
Please enter your first name.

Last name(*)
Invalid Input

Email address(*)
Please enter a valid email address

Please insert your telephone number.

How would you like us to contact you?

Invalid Input

How can we help you?(*)
Please limit text to alphanumeric and the following special characters: £.%,'"?!£$%^&*()_-=+:;@#`

See our privacy page to find out how we use and protect your data.

Invalid Input