Unmarried Couples Rights

Individual solutions for couples living together

If you are living with your partner and/or raising children outside of marriage you may not realise that you do not have the same protection as a married couple if the relationship breaks down. So, this raises the question over what are unmarried couples rights?

Our experienced team are experts in dealing with solutions for couples living together. To protect yourself should the relationship breakdown in the future, we recommend all unmarried couples have a “Living Together Agreement” which will document information about your financial position and who owns what including the title ownership of the property, payment of outgoings and the payment of any building work.

Should your relationship breakdown without a “living together agreement”, our family solicitors are experienced in advising individuals on their property and financial rights, we take a straightforward approach to resolving your dispute as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Get in touch today on 01483 887766 or start a live chat to speak to one of our experienced solicitors about unmarried couples rights.

Who to contact

Vanessa McMurtrie

Partner, Family

Partner, Family

Vanessa McMurtrie

Vanessa trained and then qualified as a solicitor in 1991 with Hart Brown working in the Cobham office's family department for a decade. She then worked for us on a part time consultancy basis while devoting more time to her family. During this period she was instrumental in implementing Hart Brown’s family department’s case management system and later, the quality system that led to the firm’s ISO 9001 accreditation.

In 2005 Vanessa returned to client work and joined Mackrell Turner Garrett where she stayed for ten years, before re-joining Hart Brown in 2015. Vanessa knows Woking and the surrounding area well and enhances the work covered at our Woking office as part of the family team.

Vanessa has been a Resolution member since 1991, committed to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational and constructive way. She has served on the Surrey Resolution committee since 2008. She is a Resolution accredited collaboratively trained lawyer and welcomes the opportunity to help separating couples adopt this process as an alternative to the more traditional options available.

Over the years, Vanessa has gained a wealth of experience in dealing with the legal aspects of personal relationships, not just those coming to an end, but new relationships, too, where a pre-nuptial or cohabitation agreement is required. She prides herself on being approachable and understanding as she helps her clients go through the legal process.

    Sharon Powell

    Partner, Head of Family

    Partner, Head of Family

    Sharon Powell

    Sharon has over 20 years experience in all aspects of family law and in particular the financial aspects of high value divorces. Sharon is a trained collaborative lawyer and she is particularly experienced in dealing with couples who have assets abroad.

    She is a Resolution member and qualified in mediation and collaborative family law.

    “A break up of a relationship is very sad for everyone concerned” says Sharon. “I believe that our role is to try and help both parties reach a solution which they are both happy with. When feelings are running high this can sometimes be difficult but I believe we can make a difference”.

    Sharon is often thanked by her clients for her sympathetic and supportive approach through a traumatic time in their lives.

    Her most memorable case was in a divorce where financial matters involving significant assets were resolved amicably yet parties persisted to argue about kitchen utensils!

    Sharon qualified as a solicitor in 1986 and joined Hart Brown in 2007 becoming a partner a few months later.

      Family | 14th September 2021

      Do grandparents have a right to contact with their grandchildren?

      When a couple makes the decision to divorce, the breakdown of the relationship can have far-reaching consequences. Unfortunately, grandparents of any children of the relationship...

      Vanessa McMurtrie

      Family | 22nd June 2021

      Marriage breakdowns could head for their own lockdown

      The easing of lockdown may have been the catalyst for the announcement by billionaire Bill Gates and his wife that they were heading for divorce...

      Vanessa McMurtrie

      Family | 29th April 2021

      Why do you need a cohabitation agreement?

      If you live with your partner, or are considering moving in together, you may have thought about a cohabitation agreement. But do you actually need...

      Vanessa McMurtrie

      Family | 6th April 2021

      Non-payment of child maintenance: What happens if a parent doesn’t...

      Under a child maintenance arrangement, child maintenance is usually paid by the parent who does not have day-to-day care of the child or does not...

      Sharon Powell

      Family | 20th January 2021

      Remote family court hearings – how do they work?

      The introduction of social distancing in response to the coronavirus outbreak has caused disruption to many vital services – including in the justice system. Many...

      Sharon Powell

      Family | 29th September 2020

      COVID-19 and the law: Can I take my child on...

      It has been a long and difficult year for most of us, with many considering finally taking a family holiday. With children having returned to...

      Vanessa McMurtrie

      Email Us

      We will return your email within 24 hours during our office hours.

      Submit Enquiry

      01483 887766

      Call us today if you would like to discuss your legal issue.

      Come and see us to book an appointment

      At one of our five offices.

      Our Offices