Unmarried couples are called cohabitant couples. Now, this often misleads partners to believe that their legal rights are same as married couples, but the fact of the matter is, they it is not true and is a wrong belief.
This is perhaps, a matter of concern that the laws do not support unmarried couples. Now, more and more couples are living in and raising children outside wedlock. So, it’s vital that some kind of legislation is passed regarding this matter. Some revision of laws needs to be taken to help cohabitees in the future.
How the finances of cohabiting couples managed
According to law, two unmarried couples are two separate individuals. This means bank accounts; savings or investments will belong to the person in whose name the account is created. If there are assets held in joint accounts, they will be divided equally unless until it is proved that the couples have agreed in some other arrangement.
It is common that unmarried couples own asset such as a home. If the property is held in jointly, then it will be divided accordingly. If there is separation, then one person can purchase the property by paying on half share of the property and take on the outstanding mortgage. In case the property is not sold, then each partner can recover his share of the property.
If asset is owned individually and not jointly, then the person in whose name the property will retain full ownership. The actual problem arises when one of the couple who is not the owner has contributed in the improvement or mortgage of the property. In such a case the separating couple should take legal advice to solve the situation.
What if there are children involved?
This is tricky situation since cohabiting couples do not have the same right as married couples. Under such circumstances, most of the time, it is the father who is on the losing side. So, if there are children involved one should opt for legal counseling to solve the situation.
As we can see that cohabitees do not enjoy same benefits as married couples. So, it’s important that cohabitant couples seek advice of a solicitor. In recent years, laws are being amended to make cohabitation an easy and stress free institution. The laws are strict regarding this matter. There needs to be more flexibility in the existing cohabiting laws.
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