Financial Matters for Unmarried Families

Where we can help

We can advise regarding financial matters for unmarried families. Circumstances can vary but ideally an agreement can be reached regarding finances either between the parties directly or through using a third party such as solicitors and mediation. Such an agreement can be incorporated in a Separation agreement or if Court proceedings are already underway within a Consent Order which can be presented to the Court for approval by the Judge to finalise such proceedings. If an agreement is incorporated in a Court Order then this will have the benefit of being legally binding and enforceable. Any further financial claims will be dismissed or will be limited usually to looking again at maintenance arrangements.

Potential disputes

If an agreement cannot be reached then an application can be made to the Court in certain circumstances. It is important to remember the law on divorce does not apply to an unmarried family and the financial claims that either party can bring are different to those within a divorce. There is no such legal concept as a common law man and wife.

If there is a dispute concerning the ownership of property then usual way to resolve this is to make an application under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

What to do if children are involved

If there are children of the relationship an application can be made to the Court by the parent with care of the children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. The Court can then consider making financial orders which can assist the Applicant. We can guide you through the process at every stage, we can advise you fully on the appropriate settlement you should be seeking.