It is becoming increasingly more usual for couples to live together rather than get married however the English legal system does not really have a framework that suits couples who choose to cohabit rather than marry.

Many people would be shocked to learn that if a couple live together in a property owned by only one of them that the person whose name is not on the house deeds might not be entitled to any share of the house if the couple spilt up.

It is a common assumption that if a couple live together for a set period of time they are then treated as a common law husband and wife. In fact this is not the case and even if a couple live together for many years this does not give them any particular rights in the event of them breaking up.

Whilst it may not seem very romantic there are certain steps which you could take to protect your position before moving in together such as instructing a solicitor to draw up a Living Together Agreement to confirm what would happen in the event of a separation.

It may also be a good idea to consider making a Will as again in the event of a person dying without making a Will if they are cohabiting there would be no automatic entitlement for their partner to receive anything.

Another point to consider is to how to arrange finances if a couple buy a house together. If one person puts in a large sum of money as a deposit then it is possible to instruct a solicitor to draw up a trust deed to ensure that when the property is sold the person who has paid in the large deposit gets that returned first before the proceeds of sale are divided between the parties.

Here at Dodds solicitors we can deal with any of the above matters for you.

To make a Will, please contact Samantha Downs on 0116-2628596 or by email at

When buying or selling a property, please contact our conveyancing team on 0116-2628596

To find out where you stand in relation to settling any disputes about property or if you would like a Living Together Agreement to be drawn up, please contact Sarah Spence on 0116-2628596 or by email at

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