More and more people these days are choosing to live together (co-habitation) rather than marrying. No doubt one of the considerations, especially for those who have pre-existing assets such as a home, is that they view they may be better protected financially if something subsequently goes wrong.
It is certainly true the law is different for unmarried couples and there is a presumption a party should keep any assets which are in their sole name. Unfortunately, matters may not be as simple as that. Following a number of very high profile cases in recent years, any such presumption can potentially be displaced if it is found due to the parties conduct a different common intention can be seen.
Even this may not be the end of it. There is other doctrine which specifies in circumstances where one party (the non-owner) is encouraged to spend money on a property/asset by the other (the owner) in the belief they will acquire an interest in it – they could then possibly gain an interest in the same. There are however a number of qualifications to what is known as “proprietary estoppel” and therefore you should consider obtaining advice from a specialist Family Law Solicitor, such as our team at Stephen Rimmer LLP. Our team can guide you through these complex issues and even assist in preparing a Co-habitation Agreement, which is much akin to a Prenuptial Agreement in marital situations. Protection of your hard earned assets is something which should not be taken lightly.