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What happens if I break up with someone I was co-habiting with?

The number of cohabiting couples in the UK continue to increase and yet they do not have the same rights as married couples and this is something that not all couples are aware of.

In England and Wales the law is complex and can leave people without a fair share of the assets upon separation even after a long and committed relationship.  The position is different in Scotland and Ireland where parties can, in specified circumstances, apply for financial provision at the end of a cohabiting relationship.

It seems surprising that Scotland and Ireland are ahead of England and Wales in recognising the changing face of relationships in the 21st century.

Despite the clear need for reform of the law in England and Wales successive governments have been reluctant to address the issue.

Until the Government do address this issue, cohabiting couples need to be very careful in ensuring that they have agreements in place making clear how they wish their finances to be dealt with when their relationship ends. Failure to do so can be disastrous and can further complicate a break up.

If you would like any advice on co-habitation agreements or any other issues relating to living together, please do not hesitate to get in contact with myself or a member of the team.