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        Just because you’ve lived with someone for a while doesn’t mean that you have any rights if the relationship ends. One of the greatest myths in family law is the existence of ‘common law marriage’. There is no such recognised legal concept in this jurisdiction.

        It might seem easier to just move in together but the law relating to cohabitation is complicated and old-fashioned if things go wrong.

        Drawing up a cohabitation agreement, in advance, can save problems down the line. It can include setting out property ownership proportions, responsibility for contributions to property running costs, measures for handling claims, establishing trusts to support children and even agreeing rights to financial support on the breakdown of the relationship or after death.

        Our legal experts help you to reduce risks. They understand that it might seem unromantic, but drawing up a cohabitation agreement is the smart decision, reducing costs and distress, down the line.

        David Pickering

        • Partner // National Head of Family

        Beverley Jones

        • Partner // Head of Family Department (Liverpool)