Solicitors in Leeds Solicitors in Leeds Solicitors in Leeds
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Many couples believe they have some protection as a common-law wife or husband. The truth is that the idea of common law marriage is simply a myth under the legal system in the UK. Should the relationship break down between unmarried people, the law will have no say in what is fair or reasonable unless you have prepared in other ways.


If you are not married you may still have to deal with financial issues after your separation because, for example, you have a property which you own jointly with your partner. If you and your partner are not able to decide what is to happen to any joint property then you can ask the court to decide.

As the rights of Unmarried Couples are not as protected as they are for married couples it is always a good idea to consider entering into a contract with your partner to decide how money and property should be divided if you should separate. These are known as a "cohabitation agreement." The cohabitation agreement essentially allows a couple to formalise responsibilities and duties relating to the household so that any breakdown of their relationship will not lead to acrimony over the finances that either partner has contributed to the upkeep of their property and so on.

If the parents of a child are unmarried, then only the mother will have automatic rights in respect of the child. However, since 1 December 2003 an unmarried father of a child will also have automatic parental responsibility as long as his name is on the birth certificate.

An unmarried father can also acquire parental responsibility if the parents have entered into a Parental Responsibility Agreement or if they apply to the Court for joint parental responsibility.

Should you require further advice in regards to the above, please fill in the form on the right hand side of this page and we will contact you as soon as possible. Alternatively contact us on 01904 642727 for your FREE 30 minute consultation at our York, Leeds or Harrogate offices.

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Our Offices:

Leeds: Phoenix House, 3 South Parade, Leeds, LS1 5QX

Harrogate: 41 East Parade, Harrogate, HG1 5LQ

York: 1 Peckitt Street, Clifford's Tower, York, YO1 9SF

Leeds: 0113 2431714

Harrogate: 01423 704070

York: 01904 642727


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