At the Liberal Democrat conference a few weeks ago there was talk of giving proper rights to couples who live together. Many people still do not realise that living together without being married does not give them any financial claims on each other. Ownership of properties can be dealt with under land law principles. Whilst this is not ideal, at least there is some way of resolving issues. However, if a couple have put their savings into one person’s name or bought shares or other investments in one person’s name, there is no way of sharing out those assets on a separation in the way that we can when there is a divorce. Similarly, there is no requirement for one of the couple to pay maintenance to the other (apart from basic child maintenance). We would always advise couples who are living together without being married to take advice to find out where they stand and how they can protect themselves as much as possible.
Contact Demelza Patricio firstname.lastname@example.org for more detailed advice.