What is Common Law Marriage?

The term ‘Common Law Marriage’ has been used in England and Wales to refer to an unmarried, usually heterosexual, cohabiting couple. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as ‘Common Law Marriage’ and this does not confer any legal rights on a couple who live together. Couples who are married or enter a civil partnership have certain legal rights that they can rely on. There are no similar rights for couples who live together, or believe they are in a ‘Common Law Marriage’. It is important for couples who live together to get independent legal advice to understand their rights and responsibilities.

To obtain advice from Rowlinsons, please telephone 01928 735333 and ask to speak with the family department.

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