Cohabitation is an expanding area of law which deals with cohabiting couples of mixed and same sex relationships, but also other investors in property such as friends buying a house together or parents contributing to their child's first home.

We should make it clear that in law there is no such thing as a Common Law Marriage and cohabiting couples do not have the same rights as married couples or those in a Civil Partnership.

When looking at property, the implications of the different forms of joint occupancy agreement, joint tenancy and tenants in common can have an impact on inheritance.  Where the co-habitants separate one may force a sale, although this can be complicated where there are children involved then the Children Act 1989 can apply.

When ending a cohabitation you will need to apply to the Court to sort out your property, financial and children issues if these cannot be agreed.

We strongly advise you to seek the help of a lawyer if you are in dispute with your ex-partner.