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Family Life
       Adver sing feature
                                     Changes D uring

                                       the P andemic

      Family dynamics have undoubtedly changed family lawyer at the  o  utset  o  f  l  iving
      as a  c onsequence of the  p andemic. We have together,  o r  t o  g et some advice if you  a re
      seen an acceleration  i n  s eparations,  a s  w  ell already  c  ohabiting. Many people don’t
      as an increase i n c ohabitation.     appreciate  t he significant  d ifference  i n  t he
      The  f ormation of the  p andemic  t iering and  law  o n d ivorce t o  t hat o f c ohabitation.
      “bubble” system has  n o  d oubt contributed What can  y ou do if you  d ecide to cohabit?
      towards  t hat  i ncrease. People are  t hinking 1. If buying  a  house  t ogether, get  l egal
      much more about  t he here and  n ow rather advice from a  f amily  l awyer  s o  t hey  c an
      than their  l ong-term future and  w  hat  l iving advise you  u  pon how  y  ou should share
      together  really  m  eans  from  a  l  egal ownership  o f t he property.
      perspective. What is likely to follow  i n  t he 2. Have  a  declaration  o  f  trust  d  rawn up
      months and  y  ears  t o  c ome  t herefore is a which  s  ets  o  ut your ownership  o  f  t  he
      significant  i  ncrease  i  n  l  egal  disputes property  a  nd what financial  c  ontributions
      between c ohabiting couples.          you  h ave  m  ade  t owards the  p roperty  i f t hey
      Unmarried Couples a nd Cohabitation   are d ifferent.
      The  c urrent l aw fails to recognise  t he rights  3. Consider a  l iving  t ogether  a greement -
      of cohabiting couples  i n  t he same way  a s  It’s similar  t o  a  declaration  b ut it can cover
      those  o f m  arried couples. There  i s  g enerally  more day  t o  d ay matters s uch  a s b ills, d ebts,
      no claim  f or spousal  m  aintenance and  t here  joint a ccounts, repairs e tc.
      is no claim  f or a  p ension share  e ither. Those  4. If you  h ave  a  parent  o r  f amily  m  ember
      that have children  m  ay have other  c laims,  who  i s  g iving  y ou monies get  t hem  t o  t ake
      but  m  ost  w  ill  be  limited  t  o  c  hild  advice so they can protect their i nterest.
                                                      will –
      maintenance.                          5. Make  a  a  will, you  I f  y  c  our  c  ohabitee dies
                                                                        l eft
      Generally, a  s eparating  c ohabitee’s  c laims  nothing.
      are  l imited  t o  t he property  i n  w  hich they
      live. But s adly, m  ost p eople  o nly  r ealise  t his  If you  t ake  a dvice and  c onsider  t he above,
      once their  r elationship  h as already broken  you  g ive  y ourself  p iece of mind of having
      down.  T  hey  f ind  o  ut that they are  n  ot a  certainty as to your situation  i f y ou separate
      “common  l aw”  h usband or wife –  t hat i s j ust  and  y ou save yourself the  t housands it may
      a  m  yth. As a  l awyer, this advice is the  m  ost  cost in contested  p roceedings.
      unpleasant t o  g ive. Clients c ome t o  y ou with If you  i ntend  t o  l ive  w  ith  s  omeone,  o  r
      expectations that are  s o  f ar from what they perhaps  y  ou are  a lready  a re and  w  ant  t o
      will realistically be able to achieve. You  c an know  w here you  s tand, c all
      see  t heir devastation  w  hen  r eceiving this Gianna  L  isiecki-Cunane  a  d  irector  at
      advice. I  a m  t elling some clients  t hat  t hey O’Donnell S olicitors o n 01457  7 61670
      have no rights to a s hare of the h ome d espite or email a t
      their  l ong relationship. This is why  i t  i s  s o  for a no obligation a ppointment.
      important to take early legal  a dvice  f rom  a
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