Common Law Marriage - does it exist and what happens if divorce comes knocking on your door?
The belief that a ‘Common Law' marriage gives the same rights, especially in terms of the division of the assets of the relationship, to a couple as does a marriage or civil partnership is entirely unfounded.
Basically in the event of a divorce of a married couple the split of the assets will be roughly 50/50, but if you are an unmarried couple , irrespective of how long you have been together then the criteria used to make the division could be very different.
There are believed to be two million unmarried couples in the country many of whom believe that if divorce were to come their way they would be safeguarded by current divorce legislation in the same way as a married couple. Given that it is quite likely that nearly half of them will break up then a million couples or two million people could well be in for a big surprise. Being one of them is probably not a good idea.
If you are living together then the best advice is to seek advice from an Independant Financial Adviser with special expertise in these matters and from a lawyer with similar expertise. There are key areas where things for unmarried couples really do need to be addressed.