Unmarried and Cohabiting Couples

Grant Stephens Family Law provide a whole range of services tailored to unmarried or cohabiting couples whether you are just starting out or whether you have separated.

Starting Out

If you and your partner are about to purchase a home or property, it is important to establish how you will own it and what would happen to the shares in the event of separation. Cohabitation Agreements are considered essential to unmarried couples who wish to avoid the considerable cost and distress of having to apply to the Court for their share to be realised on separation.

The law relating to property rights between unmarried couples is particularly complex and cohabitees are treated differently to married couples. Litigation in this area is expensive and lengthy and therefore the old adage of a ‘stich in time saves nine’ is never more relevant than in this area. We can provide advice and assistance in drawing up a Cohabitation Agreement and Declaration of trusts in respect of jointly owned property s which will provide you with the surety and security in the knowledge that your investment is protected if things do go wrong in the future.


Grant Stephens Family Law provides a full service tailored to the needs of separating couples. When couples separate, it is important that they have the security of knowing where they stand and ideally any financial issues should be implemented in a Separation Agreement or Deed of Separation signed or executed by both parties which can record the  and any financial agreements. This can be achieved through Alternative Dispute Resolution such as Mediation or Collaborative Law or by Court action.

With the finances and in particular any property that is owned or shared by the couple, the law is not straightforward. If the property is held in the name of only one person, the other person will want to know what rights they have particularly if an agreement was in place that the ‘owner’ pay the mortgage and the other has contributed by paying other bills, or possibly acting as the ‘primary carer’ of the children.

Difficult situations can also arise with jointly owned property where there is no express agreement as to shareholding and where one party in a broken relationship considers that they should have a larger percentage shareholding than the other. Furthermore, there may be dispute as to whether the property should be sold, and it may be appropriate in those circumstances to apply to the Court for an order for sale.

Grant Stephens Family Law has expert solicitors at hand who can advise and represent you about all aspects of the law relating to unmarried couples. For a free initial consultation* within 24 hours  with solicitors you can trust please call us on 02921 679 333 or contact us and we will get back to you.


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