Ending a relationship and not married - what rights do you have?
By Claire Speed
Couples who have not married are in a very different situation to those who are. Unlike divorce, there is no formal procedure to end the relationship and unmarried couples do not have the same rights as married couples to make financial claims against each other.
Couples can consider a Deed of Separation. This is a voluntary document which records all areas of agreement, for example, on children and finances and provides for no further claims against each other. For such a Deed to form a binding contract between you and your partner, you both must take separate legal advice and have given full disclosure of income and capital.
When unmarried couples separate there can often be disputes regarding the ownership and sale of jointly held property. Contrary to common understanding, English law has no concept of common law partners and the same rules apply whether co-owners are unmarried partners, business associates or friends.
If your relationship breaks down, we can advise you on your rights regarding any joint property. We will assist you in considering the options to recover and preserve your property and assets and how to reach an amicable resolution.