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Cohabitees and Unmarried Couples

Information on Cohabitees and Couples.

Cohabitees and Unmarried Couples

Legal help for cohabitees, unmarried couples and civil partners throughout Bristol, Bath and the South West

Cohabitees and unmarried couples

Disputes concerning unmarried couples can be complex and difficult. Much may depend on evidence of contributions and in particular, who paid the mortgage. Anyone intending to purchase a house jointly should consider a cohabitees’ agreement, similar to a prenuptial agreement but for unmarried partners.


In a cohabitees’ agreement, it would state the basis upon which the parties are purchasing the property. This includes the contributions made by the parties at the outset and the parties’ intentions with regard to future payments. The agreement can also provide for items of furniture, electrical items etc. to clearly state who originally owned what. This could save a lot of heartache later on.


If you find yourself in a dispute with an ex-partner, it is important to obtain specialist advice on your rights and entitlements. Contrary to common belief, there is no such thing as a ‘common law wife’.

To find out more about your rights and entitlements as a cohabiting partner, simply contact us either by email or by phone. Telephone calls are normally returned within the hour, and within 24 hours at most.

Civil partnerships

In December 2005, the law changed to allow same sex partners to register their relationship as a civil partnership. This provides similar rights and responsibilities as that of a traditional marriage. Indeed, the procedure for entering into a civil partnership, and for dissolving those that do not work out is remarkably similar to a civil wedding.


Anyone considering entering into a civil partnership should consider obtaining advice about the implications, particularly with regard to financial aspects in the event of the partnership being dissolved. You may wish to consider entering into a pre-partnership agreement to set out the basis of property ownership and what would happen in the event of separation or dissolution.

The procedure to dissolve a civil partnership follows that of a divorce. To find out more please click here.

Professional help and advice

If you are planning on entering into a civil partnership, why not seek our professional help and advice? You can contact us either by email or by phone. Telephone calls are normally returned within the hour, and within 24 hours at most.

If you require a meeting with one of our solicitors but simply do not have the time to do so, we can arrange a telephone appointment at a time to suit you.

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