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Legal Rights for Unmarried Couples Solicitors

Unmarried couple (Partners) have different legal rights and responsibilities with regards:

  • Property
  • Assets
  • Finances
  • Children


How the property is registered will determine the share of the equity. If one or other of the Partners had no financial input into the purchase of the property this does not necessarily mean that they have no claim. In order to determine any interest a person has in the property the individual circumstances of the matter need to be investigated along with any information held with the Land Registry relating to the property.


In relation to money (for example bank account/s) where accounts are in an individuals sole name then there is no claim against that account by their Partner. Where there are joint accounts the monies (or liability) is equal.


As set out above strict property law usually applies. The contents of a property can be a grey area in that both parties usually bring contents to the cohabitational home and during cohabitation purchase contents together. On separation this can cause difficulties, as each party is ordinarily entitled to half of the contents each.


Mothers automatically receive Parental Responsibility (PR) unmarried fathers do not. In order for an unmarried father to obtain PR he must attend the Registry Office with the mother and register the birth together. This entitles PR to be conferred on the father.

Alternatively the parties can enter into a Parental Responsibility Agreement which is carried out through the court. Finally a father can obtain PR by marrying the mother of the child.

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