Love not legally binding

With the trend for people in love to live together and even have children without being married increasing, it is vital that people get their financial arrangements sorted out through a solicitor in case something goes wrong.

The number of people who cohabit as a couple is expected to double from what it is now by 2021.

Currently 40 per cent of children in Britain and Northern Ireland are born out of wedlock and this figure, too, looks set to increase.

While married people or those with a civil partnership have a statutory framework to fall back on should a split occur, unmarried couples enjoy no legal safety net to ensure fair treatment for both partners.

Matters that could be affected include custody of children and division of assets. The conundrum of what to do with a shared house is particularly pertinent in Northern Ireland, as rocketing property prices mean that even after a short period of cohabitation, the value of the house is likely to have risen considerably.

Therefore it is vital for cohabiting couples to visit a solicitor to sort out a 'cohabitation agreement' contract, which although not romantic, could save a lot of heartache in the future.

Contact us for legal advice