Cygnet Family Law is warning of complications following a relationship breakdown after the news that more Britons than ever are cohabiting without being married or in a civil partnership.
According to the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics, the number of people aged 16 and over who were “cohabiting, never married or civil partnered” increased from 6.8% in 2002 to 9.5% in 2015.
Redcar’s Cygnet Law, which specialises in Family Law, is offering free consultations for couples who are unsure about the legal ramifications of cohabitation, or want to draw up a Cohabitation Agreement.
It is also able to facilitate the adoption of a partner’s child, change a home deed, change of name and adjust wills to reflect living and financial arrangements.
Janet Ford, Family Law Specialist at Cygnet Law, said: “As the number of people cohabiting has risen so has the number of disputes caused by relationship breakdowns. It may not be romantic to ask your partner to draw up an agreement in case you break up, but it will prevent a lot of heartache should you end up parting ways.
“There are also benefits of having an agreement in place whilst you are still together. It can prevent disputes and infighting by predefining responsibilities, such as who pays for what and who owns what, which can help stop resentment from building when one party feels it is carrying the other.
“Whilst the law around visitation and custody of children is fairly clear cut, the law around custody of pets is a bit murkier. Many people view their pets as their children, and as partners tend to share in responsibilities and costs of keeping a pet, ownership can become an emotional minefield if one side decides to use it as a weapon following a relationship breakdown.
“It’s not all doom and gloom though. We are also able to help couples to change the ownership of their home to include a partner and become the legal guardian of their partner’s children. In essence, becoming a married couple in all but name.”
To book your free 30 minute consultation with a family law expert at Cygnet Law’s West Dyke Road offices please call 01642 777680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.