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Unmarried couples’ property rights

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Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson


Family Law

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Are you planning on buying a home with a partner you’re not married to? Make sure your investment is protected


In the UK alone there are thought to be over three million unmarried couples living together. Statistics show that there is a growing trend of couples deciding not to get married, but still cohabitate.

When a property is co-owned by an unmarried couple, each owns distinct shares in the property, but they aren’t always equal.

To work out how property would be divided if a couple were to separate, or decide who owns what items, can be outlined in a document called a Declaration of Trust.

A Declaration of Trust outlines financial arrangements between people that own a property, and anyone else that may have financial interest in the property (for example, if your parents contributed to paying for your deposit). This legally binding document outlines how much each party should receive if the property is sold, or one owner is bought out by the other.

Ideally, a Declaration of Trust will be prepared ahead of a completion of purchase, agreed, and signed by all parties, and then dated on completion. However, if circumstances change, it is possible to have further Declarations of Trust drawn up.

It’s important that with an investment as large as a property, you must protect your position should you and your partner decide to part ways.

If you are looking to buy a property with a partner and need practical advice, contact our team at Myers & Co today. Based in Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire, our specialist family law solicitors provide services throughout Staffordshire and Cheshire. To find out more, contact Sarah Johnson or call 01782 577000.

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