A growing number of couples in the UK are choosing to move in together and get on the property ladder rather than spend on a wedding. Over the last 15 years, the number of couples classed as cohabiting in the UK has risen dramatically and this group now accounts for 17% of all families in the UK. It is the fastest-growing household category in the UK but there are a number of aspects you should be wary of before cohabiting.
Abacus Solicitors, experts in resolving cohabitation disputes, have put together a useful guide to everything you need to know about cohabitation. Read on to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of cohabiting.
The advantages of cohabiting
Cohabitation requires less of a commitment than civil partnerships and marriage allowing couples to live together without having the pressures of paying for a wedding. This leaves cohabiting couples with more money to spend on a deposit for their house.
The popularity of cohabitation today in the UK can be seen in the Office for National Statistics which found that 40% of all couples in the UK aged between 16-29 who are cohabiting have never been in a civil partnership or married. Younger couples and families looking to get their foot on the property ladder, share house bills and reduce the financial burden are looking to cohabiting as a viable option.
The disadvantages of cohabiting
Contrary to what most people think, cohabiting, also known as ‘common law marriage’ does not have any legal standing in the UK. You have to go back to 1753 before you can find any automatic legal rights in the UK for cohabiting couples. Just under 50% of the British population were found to believe (wrongly) that cohabiting couples have the same rights as married couples.
This presents a major problem for cohabiting couples as in the unfortunate event of the relationship failing, then it can leave either partner with less than they expected in terms of what they believed they are entitled to. Although many couples would argue that they would end a relationship amicably and would not raise issues over the costs and their entitlements, there’s a high chance that a relationship would end bitterly than on good terms.
Complicated cohabitation disputes can arise especially when your partner makes a claim against your property which could result in you losing your home and life savings. It’s essential to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of cohabiting before making the final decision. More importantly, you should seek specialist help from a cohabitation solicitor who can draw up a cohabitation agreement or help you settle cohabitation disputes. Find out the key points you should consider before agreeing to cohabit with your partner.