Legal services in Westcliff, Southend and elsewhere.




When an unmarried couple separate after having lived together for a period of time, the financial side of the relationship (whether in respect to the family home or other assets and income) is not generally dealt with in law in the same way as it would be for a married couple, even if there are children involved.

We can advise you about your rights and how best to progress matters. We will do all we can to help you find an amicable, fair and speedy resolution to the any issues which may arise.

Living Together Agreements

Whilst it may not be considered to be very romantic for a couple who are considering living together, or who already live together, to think about what might happen to individually owned or jointly owned assets should the relationship end, ultimately, if the relationship does end, a lot of time, money and emotional strain may be avoided if the intentions of the parties had earlier been clearly set out in a Living Together Agreement prepared by a family law solicitor. Please do contact our family law solicitor Maggie Kerrigan if you wish to discuss this further.

The Myth of Common Law Marriage

In recent years there has been a rise in the number of couples in England and Wales living together without marrying. Worryingly, many people incorrectly believe that they are common law husband and wife with the same rights as married couples, especially if they have lived together for a significant period of time. This is not correct and as far as family law is concerned, there is no such thing as common law husband or wife.

Cohabiting couples are not afforded the same rights as married couples and you may find that if the relationship comes to an end you do not have an interest in, or entitlement to, an asset or assets to which you thought you would have such an interest or entitlement.

If you are cohabiting it is advisable to contact a family law solicitor about having a Living Together Agreement drawn up so that your intentions and understandings with regard to assets, whether owned jointly or solely, can be recorded. This could help to save a lot of time, distress and costs in the event that the relationship does come to an end.

You also have no automatic right to stay in the home if your ex owns the home and asks you to leave (presuming there is no other agreement or understanding in place).


We think it is important to have a valid and up-to-date Will in place which sets out your wishes as to what should happen to your assets if you die. If you do not make a Will then your assets will pass as the law provides. Not only does the law set out who will benefit but also the amount each beneficiary should receive. Generally the beneficiaries are relatives such as spouse, children, parents and possibly more distant relatives.

Please feel free to contact our Wills and family law solicitor Maggie Kerrigan about your Will requirements. Even if you already have a Will in place it may be advisable to review the same and we would be happy to assist in that regard.