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Cohabitee Disputes


Property Disputes

This would usually apply to a scenario where 2 or more unmarried people own property in equal shares, or unspecified shares.

If agreement cannot be reached as to whether a property should be sold or as to the ownership of the property and consequently how the proceeds should be divided, an application to the court has to be under the Trusts Of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act, so that a Judge can decide this for the parties.

Although the law in this area has often been described as ‘simple’ the reality of the lives of people who have lived together in fluid circumstances, such as where a child has been born to cohabitees, gives rise to complex legal arguments which require specialist legal knowledge.

Financial Provision for Children

If cohabitees cannot agree the level of maintenance that should be payable, then an application to the Child Maintenance Service (formerly the Child Support Agency) should be made. Other financial provision can be sought through the courts under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, namely:

  • Top up maintenance orders in cases where, due to the affluence of the paying parent, maintenance in excess of the Child Maintenance Service maximum award is warranted
  • Lump Sum Orders to cover specific capital spending for children

 Orders for Housing Provision

This area of law is particularly complex and you will require a solicitor who is an expert in dealing with cohabitee disputes.  We take a professional but sympathetic approach in such matters, guiding you through what can be a very difficult time.

Child Arrangement Orders

Agreement about arrangements for children cannot always be reached and sometimes mediation or court proceedings are necessary. We can help with:

  • Negotiating and agreeing the care arrangements for the children
  • Court applications for a Child Arrangement Order (with whom the children should live, spend time or otherwise have contact with)relating to the above
  • Disputes relating to the removal of children from the local area or country UK, whether for holiday’s or permanently
  • Specific Issue applications such as in relation to such things as where a child should go to school, whether or not they should receive a certain type of medical treatment or whether they should follow a particular religion.
  • Prohibited Steps Order applications for  orders preventing either parent from carrying out certain actions e.g. making specific trips with their children, without the express permission of the other parent or the consent of the court
  •  Obtaining Parental Responsibility Orders – usually for unmarried fathers who are not named on a child’s birth certificate.

Who to contact?

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