Unmarried and cohabiting couples

Cohabitation - your legal rights

Cohabitation does not give someone the same legal rights and responsibilities as those who are married or in a civil partnership.

Generally speaking, the legal rights are far fewer and while the term ‘common-law wife or husband’ is frequently used; it has no legal recognition.

If you have chosen to live together you can enter into an agreement setting out arrangements that will apply while you are living together, as well as setting out what will happen if there is a breakdown of the relationship. This is called a living together agreement or cohabitation agreement.

Cohabitation agreement

A cohabitation agreement is a contract and governed by contract law it is therefore important that the agreement caters for certain issues such as property, finances, children and separation. Our specialist family department can help you draft this important agreement.

Our family team can also assist with writing a declaration of trust, which sets out the shares that each person has in the property, whether owned jointly or in one name.

If you own a property with someone who you are not married too, it is also important to consider making a Will.

Free consultation

We offer a free 20 minute family law consultation to discuss your situation. To speak to one of our family law experts or book an appointment at our Portsmouth or Waterlooville office, please call us on 023 9298 1000 or email connect@verisonalaw.com.

Our team

Andrea Cox
Principal Lawyer - Wills, Trust and Probate
Carla Burt
Conveyancing Assistant - Residential Property


Charlene Griffin
Team Assistant - Family


Charlotte Attwood
Team Assistant - Family
David Hawkins
Litigation Executive - Historic Abuse
Ellie Reynolds
Solicitor - Wills, Trusts and Probate
Gail Benzies FCILEx
Conveyancer - FCILEx
Gemma Johnson
Team Assistant - Residential Property
Iain Belcher
Consultant - Wills, Trust and Probate
Jackie Dobson
Team Assistant - Historic Abuse


Jacky Sneddon
Team Assistant - Family
Jane Pethick
Team Assistant - Employment and Corporate & Commercial
Kate Anderson
Principal Solicitor
Katherine Davey
Business Support Assistant
Kelly Stillman
Legal Secretary
Kerry Henderson-Parish
Lisa Gafarov
Litigation Executive - Historic Abuse
Lucy Davies
Legal Assistant - Residential Property
Marie Forbes
Solicitor - Historic Abuse/Litigation
Michael Dyer
Principal Lawyer and Head of Business Law
Natalie Chance
Team Assistant - Marine
Natalie Tait
Team Assistant
Nickie Mills
Team Assistant - Wills, Trust and Probate
Nigel Wale
Team Assistant - Commercial Property
Rhiannon Stonehouse
Principal Lawyer – Head of Trusts and Estates


Sara-Jayne Fildes
National Head of Family Law
Sue Ball
Principal Lawyer, Head of Employment & Southern Region
Tim Reynolds
Principal Lawyer and Southern Region Head of Marine
Tricia Moore FCILEx
Conveyancer FCILEx