The specialist advice you need to protect your interests and assets, as you embark on a new living together relationship, or deal with a break-up.

  • Busting the myths on ‘common law’ rights
  • Helping you overcome uncertainty
  • Explaining all your options when disputes arise


Unmarried Couples & Cohabitation

There is a popular myth which has persisted for many years that if a couple live together over a number of months or years they automatically acquire a legal status as ‘common law’ husbands and wives. This is not the case.

When the relationship of a cohabiting couple breaks down the only legal claims arising may be as follows:-

  • Property ownership. The Court will need to consider how a property is legally owned between the couple. 
  • Claims for financial support for children under the Children Act 1989

Unlike when a couple are married or in a civil partnership and the relationship ends the Court has no power to order payment of maintenance to a former cohabitee for themselves. Likewise the Court cannot make orders regarding pension sharing and the division of other assets.

Relationship breakdown can be just as complicated, if not more so, if you and your former partner have never been married. There may be joint liabilities or jointly owned property and assets which need to be dealt with.

Whether you have left a property in which you have a financial interest or your partner has left you with the responsibility for such a property, HCB Solicitors can offer advice as to what options you may have to resolve your difficulties, the costs involved in pursuing any options and the likely timescales.

If you are about to move in with a partner and wish to ensure that your existing property or assets are protected in the future then there may be steps you can take at this stage rather than dealing with the uncertainty and expense in the future.


  • When there’s a fight to be had the team did not back away, however, when there was a deal to be done the team did it.

We can guide you through the complicated issues that can arise in this area and help you to achieve the best possible outcome for your own circumstances.