The pitfalls of living together as man and wife
There is a very good chance that couples living together have not properly considered what would happen if they separated or if one of them was to die.
Many people believe that to live together as man and wife for six months or more gives them certain rights. There is no such six month rule. Separation for an unmarried couple can very often mean disastrous financial consequences for one of them.
It is essential that both parties know exactly how they stand as regards the house in which they live. Is the house owned by one party alone? If it is jointly owned then in what proportions?
Consideration should also be given to the splitting of any investments on separation and responsibility for any debts.
Unless you know where you stand on these matters then you need to find out. The time to sort things out is whilst the relationship is a happy one. It is advisable to have an agreement drawn up setting out what is intended.
The Supreme Court recently dealt with a co-habitation case during the course of which Lord Justice Wall said that –
‘Co-habiting partners must, it seems to me, contemplate and address the unthinkable, namely that their relationship will break down and that they will fall out over what they do and do not own’
You can contact Astle Paterson, together or separately, to ascertain your strict legal position now and decide if you want to make changes. We could also advise you about your will.