Charlotte Cooper
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Date Published:08 Aug 2019 Last Updated:23 Oct 2021

Myth Busting – Common Law Marriages

Family Law

In the modern world, it is becoming far more common for couples to
live together before they get married, some even choosing not to marry at all. There
is also a popular belief that after a certain period of time, unmarried couples
will be considered as being in a ‘common law marriage’, providing the couple
with legal rights against each other arising from their relationship. Sadly, this is a myth! The
concept of ‘common law marriage’ has not been legally recognised in England and
Wales since the introduction of The Marriage Act 1753.

Whilst married spouses are able to make financial claims against each
other in the event of their separation, the law in England and Wales has not
yet been properly developed to deal with financial disputes between unmarried
couples. The only way to get the same legal rights as a married couple is to
actually get married.

If you would like to speak to one of our expert Family Law Solicitors,
please do not hesitate to contact us on 01202 525333 or
by e-mail to