How long do I have to live with someone to become common law man and wife?
“Common law marriage” is a myth; there is no such thing. Couple do not acquire the rights of a spouse simply by living together. This is the case no matter how long the relationship might be, or if they have children together. If the relationship ends, the partners cannot seek financial provision from each other’s property, income or pension the way divorcing spouses can. This can lead to hardship, particularly if one financial party is weaker than the other. Certain limited claims can be made if the couples have children together however.
If a couple is planning to live together without marrying, we would always recommend a Cohabitation Agreement is drafted to record how property would be divided in the event of separation. We would also recommend wills in the event of death.
If you would like more information or help with this issue you can contact Jonathan here.