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Separating after living together

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If you are not married or in a civil partnership and have been living together for some time you may find if you decide to separate that your own rights are very different.

‘A common law wife or husband or partner is a myth,’ says Glynis Wainman, family law solicitor at Hancock Quins in Watford. ‘ It is a term that is not recognised by the courts and therefore, in the eyes of the law, there is no such thing as a common law spouse.’

When people have lived together there is often a property that is held either jointly or in the sole name of one partner.  On separation, a division of these assets is required, but there are no hard and fast rules or set formula.  It is preferable for all concerned if you can reach an amicable agreement, but this may not always be possible.

Mediation should be the first course of action to consider.  Mediation can help you to resolve your differences and is often quicker than going to court.  If, however, court proceedings are required, proper legal representation is essential as matters in these circumstances are not as simple as they may appear.

How Hancock Quins Solicitors can help

We provide:

  • extensive experience in the field of cohabitation;
  • fast, efficient and friendly advice throughout this difficult situation;
  • clear explanation of your rights and individuals; and
  • legal representation should your case move to court proceedings.

For more advice about mediation and cohabitation contact Glynis Wainman on 01923 650862 or email

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.