Cohabitation & Separation
If you are are separating from your long term partner and are concerned about how to split finances, making child arrangements or even custody of the family pet, we can help. Our expert family lawyers can help you navigate this complex area of law. Book a first free appointment today for a no obligation discussion with an expert family lawyer.
Many couples live and have children together without being married. But when these couples separate they can find themselves in legal difficulty. This is because the law that applies to this situation can be very different to where a marriage is involved. If you are unmarried and looking to separate from your partner, things like child custody, splitting finances and arranging who gets the family pet can get unnecessarily complex. It is perhaps this area of English law that is problematic most often for most people.
We can help. At HRS we see many examples of this type of case each and every month. Other firms who are not specialists cannot say the same. Our expert family lawyers can help you take care of all your arrangements with minimal fuss. So if you are looking to separate from your long term partner, book a free first appointment with an expert family lawyer today for a free and frank discussion on your options.
How we can help…
HRS Family Law Solicitors are experts in protecting your interests and recovering assets after a separation. We can help you as much or as little as you need in the following ways:
- Negotiating a financial agreement with your former partner
- Negotiating child arrangements with your former partner
- Applying to court for a financial order
- Applying to court for a child arrangement order
- Enforcing financial orders that haven’t been obeyed
- Helping you win maintenance, a lump sum order or a property transfer order
- Negotiating and officiating pension sharing
- Helping you win child maintenance
- Dividing up complex estates
Separating from a long term partner is complex, especially where there are children, properties or assets involved. Our dedicated team of private law specialists have significant experience in this area of law and can help you navigate this complexity. Book a free appointment today and a private law solicitor will discuss your options with you.
Why choose HRS Family Law Solicitors
1. No legalese or jargon – Just straightforward advice focused on achieving your goal. At HRS we understand that you are the client and our role is to give you advice and assistance. It is not for us to tell you what to do.
2. Experts in our field – HRS Family Law have helped tens of thousands of cohabiting couples separate successfully. We are well respected in our field. Our senior Solicitors are all members of Resolution and are skilled in obtaining and protecting assets in the event of a relationship breakdown and negotiating the best outcome for you.
3. We are on your side – HRS Family Law Lawyers work for you. We work hard to make your separation as seamless and fuss free as possible. Tell us what you want to achieve and we will negotiate hard and deploy the best legal arguments to achieve it.
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Cohabitation Cases Frequently Asked Questions
My partner was arrested and told not to come back to the house. He is now refusing to pay the mortgage and won't sign the house over to me. What can I do?
You can apply to the Court for an order for sale under an Act called TOLATA. You can even get the Judge to sign the transfer document if necessary. Book a first free appointment today and we can help you look at options then arrange all the paperwork if you choose to instruct us.
Can I change the locks to my house as my partner has left but keeps coming back when he wants?
Probably. If it is your house and not his or your tenancy and not his, then yes. If it is in joint names probably not legally, but although in theory the change may be criminal damage it is unlikely to be actioned. If the house is not yours in any sense you should be careful not to do so and seek redress by an action for what is called an Occupation order. If you are in any doubt about what you should do book a first free appointment with us and we can advise.
My ex-partner and I split up three years ago and he left. He now says that he wants £10K from me for the house. Am I liable?
This is complicated. Basically if the house is in your sole name he may have a claim if he did work on the property or paid the mortgage. If he did not but paid some bills or for food etc his claim will be doubtful. You should seek legal advice. We offer a first free appointment to everyone. Just use the form below to book yours.
My house is in joint names with my ex-partner. I'm worried that it may go to them if I pass. What can I do?
This can be a complex area of law. We can help you sever a tenancy and draft any lasting powers of attorney or wills to make this less likely. Book a first free appointment today to find out more.
What areas of law cover cohabitation and why is it so complex?
The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 is the basis for complicated case law that makes this aspect of family law one of the most difficult to navigate without specialist expertise.At HRS we see many examples of this type of case each and every month. Other firms who are not specialists cannot say the same.
Unfortunately this area of law has not kept up with modern ways of living. The law changes and has recently done so. Many lawyers believe that there is an urgent need for reform. Until then we at HRS will continue to stay up to date on the latest developments and changes. As experts in family law we can guide you through this complex area.
My fiance and I have called off the wedding. Do I have to give the engagement ring back?
No. If he gave it to you it was a gift. You aren’t under legal obligation to return gifts.
My ex-partner refuses to return my cat. Please help.
Under law a pet is considered to be a ‘chattel’. That means it is a belonging. It is a question of fact who it belongs to. If it is yours, proof is needed. A receipt or evidence such as vets bills etc are useful. You can make a claim for the return of the cat or damages in the small claims Court. For dogs kennel club registration may be crucial, if applicable.
My boyfriend and I have split up but he refuses to leave even though the mortgage is in my name. Can I force him out?
Yes, if he is not on the title to the property. Assuming he was not a tenant and did not pay rent he is a licensee. Revoke the licence in writing with reasonable notice and then change the locks and bag his belongings up carefully without damage for collection.
My partner and I are separating but we cannot agree on some of our things. How do we divide them up?
Legally items are either, yours, his or jointly owned. Write a list and negotiate using items of similar value where you cannot remember or agree. If you still struggle to agree on certain items of high value or for the care of a pet, you may need to consider mediation or even court. Talk to us today at a first free appointment and we can point you in the right direction.
My former partner left a year ago and I have no idea what to do with his things. Please advise.
The Torts (interference with goods) Act requires you to store them for a reasonable period, say 6 months and then you can sell them and hold the money for him. If you prefer bag them up and keep secure and undamaged. You should give him notice of disposal before destruction and if you do not know where he is make reasonable enquiries before any action.
My girlfriend and I have fallen out but we have a tenancy together and nowhere to go. Can I force her to leave?
What others are saying about our cohabitation cases service?
We offer everyone a first free appointment
If you are separating from a long term relationship and you have children, joint assets or joint debts, we can help your separation go as smoothly as possible. We can help you make child arrangements, seperate finances and assets and even arrange custody of the family pet. Book your first free appointment today for a no obligation chat with an expert family lawyer about the best path forward.