Do cohabiting couples have the same rights as married couples or those in a civil partnership?
Engaging mediation services such as ours during or after divorce is quite common nowadays and the existence of mediation as a means to resolve the practical areas of a relationship break up is relatively well known. But, what about when a couple are cohabiting but not married? Can mediation be used in such circumstances?
The simple answer is, yes! Nowadays the breakdown of a relationship can be devastating whether or not a couple are married and the financial implications may be just as severe.
It is a fact that generally, if you’ve been living together as a couple and then separate, you have fewer rights than couples who divorce or dissolve their civil partnership and in a similar manner, your break-up will be more straightforward if you can agree about the things you are dividing, such as your property, possessions and assets. If this can be done then a solicitor or mediator may not be required as there is no formal legal process to follow.
Certain factors may change this when you may find that using a family mediator to help you both resolve your situation would be advantageous.
- If you have children and cannot agree to custody or contact
- You own a home together
- Any ‘family’ debts either of you may have
- You have a dispute over the split of any assets you may have
If you can, try to avoid arguing with your ex-partner through a solicitor and try to discuss matters directly. If for any reason this does not work, then rather than immediately engaging a solicitor or approaching a court, mediation is a viable and affordable alternative.
We are used to working with cohabiting couples as well as those who are married or in a civil relationship and we will help you both resolve any issues that you have with regard to your children, property or finances.