Cohabitation Legal Services



Garner & Hancock have drafted numerous settlement agreements and we use our unique agreements not found on the internet and which we believe are stronger than those used by most solicitors. We don’t use templates but go through with the client the specific needs and type of assets they want to protect.


Are these like Divorce orders?

Divorce law only applies to married couples and the equivalent civil partnership dissolution which applies to same sex couples. There are no special rules relating to cohabitees and there is no such thing as a “common law spouse”. Therefore cohabitees facing a relationship break down will have to resolve matters according to general legal principles of trust ownership of properties.

What if I can’t get an agreement with my Partner?

If the parties cannot reach an amicable agreement between themselves then the only recourse is to the law as governed by statute and precedent in the areas of contract, trusts and land (“common law”).


However, before you do anything you must attempt mediation or collaboration.

Common Law Husband/Wife, do they exist?

There is no such a thing as a “common law wife” and a “common law husband”.

We are just living together, nothing is in joint names – are we fine?

It is not true that after a given period of time you automatically acquire the same rights from cohabitations married or civilly partnered couples. Someone cannot claim a share in their partner’s house even if they have paid bills or have had children together. The leading case, Stack v Dowden from 2007, sets out that the court will look holistically at the whole of the parties’ relationship.


 Tell us what your issue is and we can call you back


Divorce – “If I get the children, do I get the house?”

Author: Admin

The children needs and the spouse looking after them have priority need, but the judge takes into account the other spouses needs also, although these may be postponed in favour of the spouse with the children.


Filed in Article library: Cohabitation, Divorce, Family Law, Possessions in Divorce,

Free Consultation

If you would like some help or advice, then please feel free to call to arrange a conversation on 0208 232 9560, or drop us a note using the form below and we can book you a call with a solicitor.