In the unfortunate event that you and your partner separate while you are cohabitating, this can present a number of issues. It’s likely to be an emotional and distressing time and legal issues can feel like a huge inconvenience. This is sometimes why couples agree to stay together (albeit unhappily) or give the relationship another try.

But what if we told you that there is a way of solving a cohabitee dispute with the best interests of both parties in mind? A process that is quick and efficient and will leave you happier as a result? This is what the team are capable of, here at St Helens Law, giving you the legal advice you need at this tough time.

What being a cohabitee entails

You have probably heard of the term “cohabitating” before, but what does it actually mean? The term is used when you live together with your partner without being married. This period can last for anywhere from a few months to many years, depending on the preferences of the couple. For example, you may choose to live together while you are engaged as you want to hold off on getting married. Although this means you won’t have to go through a divorce if you decide to separate, there may still be complications if this happens to be the case.

When living together without being married, you have a different set of rights which can be unearthed if you decide to separate. In terms of the law, this can present complications, especially if children are involved, as cohabitating is seen as being no different to being flat mates, for example.

At St Helens Law, our family solicitors in St Helens will be able to provide you with the expert legal advice you will need at this difficult time.

What issues can arise?

When going through a cohabitee dispute, there can be several issues that prove to be a sticking point. These usually include entitlement to the property that you are living in, issues surrounding custody of children and any other assets or money.

Your property

Claims regarding the property in which you have co-habited differ depending on whether the property is in joint names or one person’s name. If the house is in joint names, then you are well within your rights to claim interest, but the amount will depend on how you own the property. You may be ‘Joint Tenants’ or ‘Tenants in common’, which would result in a different kind of claim.

If the property is only owned by one party, the other person may have an entitlement to a claim. For example, if they have helped pay for any home improvements during the time you have been cohabitating.

It is best to seek legal advice here from St Helens Law, we can take your circumstances into account and use our years of experience to provide the best outcome.


Issues regarding children are often very complicated, especially when the best interests of them and both parents/carers are taken into account. One of the main disputes surrounds child maintenance, which is decided by the Child Maintenance Service. Often an agreement can be reached eventually, but where to start can be quite the challenge.

The team at St Helens Law can give you the advice you need.

Other monetary assets

Often it is not just our property that we put in joint names when cohabitate. After all, during this stage you’re of the opinion that your relationship will be for the long term. This means that sizeable assets such as family vehicles, or electrical items are in both of your names and can therefore prove to be a stumbling block upon separation.

Legal advice on what to do next

Are you currently going through a break up with your cohabitee and need legal advice on what the next port of all is? If so, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at St Helens Law, we can begin our positive relationship today.

For a FREE 30 minute consultation with one of our friendly team, give us a call on 01744 742360 or email us at You can also fill out our online enquiry form and we will respond as soon as we can.