Cohabitation Disputes FAQs
Separating from a partner is never easy, regardless of whether you are married or not. However, for those who are not married, there are some unique issues that must be considered.
- Property Rights: Unlike married couples, cohabitants do not have an automatic right to each other's property when separating. If you jointly own property, you will need to come to an agreement on how it will be divided. It's important to remember that you may have different legal rights depending on whether you are joint owners, tenants in common, or if only one of you is named on the property (title deeds).
- Parental Responsibility: Unmarried fathers do not automatically have Parental Responsibility for their children. If you are the father of a child, you will need to take legal action to acquire Parental Responsibility (if you do not already have it). This will give you the right to make decisions about your child's upbringing, such as schooling, medical treatment, and religion.
- Child Maintenance: If you have children together, you will need to come to an agreement about child maintenance payments. This is to ensure that both parents contribute towards the financial support of their children.
- Inheritance Rights: Unlike married couples, cohabitants do not have automatic inheritance rights if their partner dies without a will. It is important to make a will to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. If you do not have a will, your partner could apply to the court for permission to make a claim on your estate.
- Separating from a partner can be a difficult time, but understanding your legal rights and responsibilities is crucial. Seeking legal advice early can help to ensure that your interests are protected and that the separation process is as smooth as possible.
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