Despite general public perception, there is no such thing as a “Common Law spouse”. If you live together with your partner but are not married/formed a Civil Partnership then your rights and obligations relating to property, children and maintenance are very different compared to couples who have undertaken a formal Ceremony. This can often lead to situations which, in the general sense, seem very unfair.
Society has changed extensively over the years and the trend is that more and more couples are living together. According to the National Statistics Office, between 1996 and 2004 the number of cohabiting couple families increased by over fifty per cent. The Civil Partnership Act, which came into force in December 2005, has enabled same sex couples to register their relationship and create what is known as a Civil Partnership. (See Civil Partnership Fact Sheet). Civil Partnerships bring with it certain rights which are similar to those of a Married couple. However, what about those who live together but are neither Married nor have entered into a Civil Partnership?
We can assist clients with preparing a Cohabitation or Living together agreement which deals with the financial and/or child care arrangements should the relationship break down.
For more information, please click here to download our fact sheet.