common law

Is there such a thing as a common law marriage?

In the fourth of our ten-part series of short films we look at if there is such a thing as a common law marriage.

If you have any further questions, or would like to arrange an appointment to discuss any issues you may have, please do contact us.

To see other films, in which members of our Family team answer the top ten questions we are asked on divorce, financial settlement, cohabitation and civil partnership, follow this link.

There is a misconception that if you cohabit with somebody for a period of time as a man and a wife then you would  automatically become common law husband and common law wife. In fact living with somebody does not give you any such rights.

Married partners have a legal duty  to financially support each other so, claims can be made for financial provision such as spousal maintenance, lump sum, orders, property transfer and also pension claims. The position with unmarried partners is no such claims exist

Those in civil partnerships find themselves in the same position as married couples, in that they are able to make financial claims and they are entitled to financial support during their civil partnership.