What legal advice can we help with?


In recent years it has become more common for people to choose to simply live together rather than to marry. Those people who choose to live together, however, often do so based upon the belief that they are in a common law marriage and therefore when their relationship breaks down they will have the same rights and claims as if they were married. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It was stated in a recent Law Commission report that:

“It is widely accepted that the present law is unduly complex, arbitrary and uncertain in its application. It is ill-suited to determining the property rights of those who, because of the informal nature of their relationship, may not have considered their respective entitlements” 

Should you be in the process of purchasing a property with your partner, we would advise you to consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement. A Cohabitation Agreement would provide what should happen to your and your partner’s monies and assets on the breakdown of your relationship. You would then hopefully be able to avoid the costs and stress associated with disputes that often arise in what is a highly complex area of the law.

Should you be in the process of separating from your partner, you may wish to contact us to advise you on your position. We have significant experience of dealing with disputes of this nature and we will be able to advise you on the steps that you should immediately take to protect your position as well as the likely outcome.

We offer both fixed fee and free initial consultations. We also have a public funding contract and may therefore be able to assist you under the legal aid scheme.

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Contact Details

Bournemouth Office
Kingsway House
13 Christchurch Road
DX 7641 Bournemouth
Phone:01202 294411
Fax:01202 295944

Our friendly team are here to help

Lynne Barton

Partner & Head of Family & Children Law

Nicola Bennetts


Registered Office: 13 Christchurch Road Bournemouth BH1 3JY. Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
Aldridge Brownlee Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England number OC334502