Some people are surprised to find that the law for cohabitating couples differs for married couples or those in a civil partnership. We are very experienced in dealing with cohabitation disputes in the absence of any formal ceremony.
If you’re experiencing a relationship breakdown and there are children involved then it’s important to know your rights as a parent. Cohabiting couples with children may have different rights to married couples and those in a civil partnership particularly if your children were born before December 2003. When it comes to children arrangements, you can apply to the courts under the Children Act 1989, but it’s much more advisable that you try and come to an agreement using our family mediation service. It costs a lot less in the long-run and we find the majority of families resolve their disputes this way.Your children will also be given the opportunity to have their wishes and feelings heard of they so wish through this process.
Financial Claims for your Children
Under Schedule one of the Children’s Act there are certain legal provisions that can be made with regards to children. This includes:
- Lump sum payments
- Periodical payments
- Settlement of property on trust
- Transfer of property to benefit the child
- School fees order
How are child maintenance costs awarded?
There are several factors that determine how much you’ll be awarded for everyday care of your child:
- Income, property, assets and financial resources of each person
- Present / future financial obligations of each person
- Child’s financial needs
- Any physical or mental disability of the child
- The manner in which the child has been or is expected to be educated
Again, it’s usually more effective and less stressful to go through family mediation to come to your own agreement, as opposed to attending court. Our family mediation service [link to family mediation page?] has a very high success rate and always puts the child first. Legal Aid is also available for mediation.
Do I have any rights when it comes to the family home?
In short, there are two types of rights you and your partner may have when it comes to property – legal ownership and equitable ownership. Legal ownership is defined as the people who are registered on the title deeds as the owner of the property – so if you have a joint tenancy then you have a 50:50 share. You may hold as Tenants in Common and where you have contributed disproportionate deposits then this may well be reflected through this type of ownership.
Equitable ownership is a little more complicated. It means that while one person is named on the documents as the owner, the other person isn’t but may have beneficial interest in the property. This includes paying towards the purchase of the house, contributions to mortgage / rent, paying for maintenance costs and helping to cover renovation costs. If you can prove there was some kind of implied trust, through your bank statements or communications, when it comes to paying towards the property then you may have some say in what happens to the property.
Apart from financial contributions, there are a few more factors that may affect your dispute:
- The nature of your relationship
- The purpose of your home (family home, holiday home, etc)
- How you arranged your finances (joint bank account, separately, etc)
- You and your partner’s individual characters
How can 174 Law help?
With 150 years of combined experience as dedicated personal solicitors in the North West and across the UK, our team are always happy to provide guidance for your case and help you resolve your dispute.
The breakdown of a relationship, especially if you live together, can be an emotionally charged time. Our team are dedicated to offering a compassionate yet professional service so you can achieve the best outcome for you and your family’s needs. Our costs are completely transparent and we offer various ways to pay – so our service is always affordable and if you’re eligible for funding then we’ll be the first to let you know.