Unmarried and unprotected
3rd January 2012
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The beginning of January is traditionally the busiest time for those wanting to issue a Divorce Petition to end their marriage.  Between 2003 and 2009 the divorce rate fell although it has increased slightly since 2010 – possibly due to the poor economic climate and the additional financial pressures experienced by couples.

Meanwhile the rate of couples who choose to the “tie the knot” is continuing to fall.  The combination of higher divorce rates and less marriage means that more couples are simply living together.  Although this may satisfy their emotional needs, what legal rights, if any, do cohabiting couples have if their relationship breaks down? 

In November 2011 the Supreme Court handed down their long awaited judgement in the case of Kernott and Jones.  Litigation between this couple had been going on for 4 years before their case was eventually determined by the highest court in the country.  Despite having owned a property in joint names since 1985, the Supreme Court restored the decision of the court of first instance, awarding Ms Jones 90% of the property, leaving Mr Kernott with just 10%. 


Read more about this case and the rights of cohabiting couples here. http://tinyurl.com/7tzo2jl

About the Author

The Head Partnership Solicitors LLP T

Member since: 27th April 2012

Based in Henley for over 10 years offering advice on family matters, care/nursing home funding, wills & powers of attorney, employment advice, dealing with contract disputes, buying & selling companies...

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