Legal Q&A: What are my rights as a common law spouse?

A: Common Law marriage is a myth! Unfortunately, there is a misunderstanding in the UK that an unmarried couple who have lived together for a long period of time will have established a common law marriage, this is not true.  Common Law marriage has no legal standing. There is an assumption by unmarried couples they have acquired similar legal rights to a married couple which again is not true. 

If you have a property together then you may be entitled to some rights under property law which will depend upon the ownership of the property, any financial contributions you have made and improvements to the property. If you have children together then there may be scope for you to make an application to the court for financial provision on their behalf for their benefit.

If you are not married it is always sensible to have an agreement setting out your interest or rights in the family home.

If you require further information please contact Pavinder Khela, an experienced family solicitor based in Stamford on 01780 750 956, or email: pavinder.khela@hegarty.co.uk.