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Divorce or separation

Breaking up if you have been living together

Contrary to popular belief, there really is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’. Unless you marry or enter into a civil partnership, even if you have been living together for many years, you have no right to financial support from your partner if you separate. If you are not married but living together you could be particularly vulnerable in terms of your home and finances when you split up.

There are only a few options for financial relief open to you and these are:

Child maintenance – If you have children together and the children live mostly with you, your partner may be liable to pay some child maintenance to you.  The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will usually deal with any dispute over child maintenance. If one of you lives abroad or earns over a certain amount, the family court may be able to order maintenance payments

Property – If you jointly own a property and cannot agree whether it should be sold or how to divide the proceeds, you can ask a court to decide what proportion of the property belongs to you and to make an order for the property to be sold and the proceeds distributed. If you have only contributed to living expenses, then this area of the law is complicated and requires detailed consideration of whether any form of agreement or understanding between you and your partner has created a trust.

A home for your children – If you need accommodation for your children after you separate, you may be able to apply on their behalf for a property to be transferred to you, or for a lump sum to purchase a property for you to use as a home for the children until they are grown up.

We can advise you

Based in the City of London our matrimonial solicitors are on hand for a convenient appointment between meetings or before your commute home. We will explain your options in straightforward language so that you can make informed decisions about what’s best for you and your children.

We are used to working with busy executives and international families and regularly have meetings via Skype or video calls with clients in other time zones.

Funding for legal advice or representation

Once we understand your circumstances, we will advise you on the options that may be available to you.

Contact our matrimonial team

To organise an initial consultation, in complete confidence, please contact a member of our specialist family team who will be able to help.

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