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Family Law - Cohabitation

Couples are increasingly choosing to live together without marrying.  However, there is a common misunderstanding that a couple who have been together for a period of time have established a ‘common law marriage’.  In fact, these relationships have no legal definition and, should the relationship come to an end, one of the partners could be left in a vulnerable position financially. 

The law relating to those who are unmarried but who have lived together is complex and you will need advice if you separate.  

We provide expert advice in areas such as:

  • Whether or not you can claim an interest in a property which is in your partner's name.
  • The extent of your interest in any jointly owned property.
  • Whether you are entitled to any financial provision for your children.

We can provide the advice you need, whether you are starting out together and want to avoid any possible arguments in the future, or you are investing more money or property, into the relationship than your partner.  You need to make sure your assets are protected. We can also advise you on the use of cohabitation agreements and help negotiate a suitable agreement for you.

For advice and support, please contact your Family Law Team on 0113 320 5000 or by email on

Family mediation

Winston Solicitors LLP provides family mediation services for both individuals and legal professionals across West Yorkshire. Our family mediator Anna Vollans is an experienced family solicitor. She is fully accredited by the Family Mediation Association and is qualified to carry out intake assessments and mediation sessions.

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