Do you want to live together legally?

The rights of couples who want to live together but don’t want to get married are very much in the news at the moment following the victory of Rebecca Steinfield and Charles Keidan in the Supreme Court. (For more information about that case you can read the blog by my colleague Sarah Whitelegg.)                       (

At the moment there is no immediate sign of a change in the law to allow Civil Partnerships between heterosexual couples or to improve the rights of any couple that live together but aren’t married.

So we still have a situation where unmarried couples don’t have the same legal rights as their married or Civil Partner counterparts.

For some couples the informality of just living together may suit them down to the ground. They can split up without any formal process and have no legal duty to financially support the other in the future.

However this might result in conflict, legal arguments and potentially financial hardship for one person.

So what can you do if you don’t want to marry but want to have a formal arrangement in place that sets out your legal rights over property and possessions when you live together?

One option worth thinking about is to have a Cohabitation or Living Together Agreement. This is a formal legal document which can cover every aspect of what happens to the family home and contents, the family pet as well as savings, debts and Inheritance rights.

They can be simple or as detailed as you want to make them.

You might also want to think about a Declaration of Trust where you own property jointly with your partner. You can have separate shares which don’t have to be equal. For example you might be paying more of the deposit.

You shouldn’t forget to think about making a Will so that you choose what happens to you estate when you die rather than the statutory Intestacy Rules applying.

You can find out more about rights for unmarried couples as well as Cohabitation or Living Together Agreements and Wills by following these links:-

Cohabitation fact sheet



For more information or to make an appointment for your free initial consultation you can call any of our offices.


Read our next news story:

Civil partnership…. an option for everyone?