News and Events

Guru to the stars in court over 'common law divorce'

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This article in the Telegraph looks at a case which is currently in the High Court, concerning a couple that are separating after living together for more than 15 years. They have a 16 year old son together and the property that they lived in was owned solely by the father. The mother believed she would be entitled to a share of the father’s wealth and their home, because she believed she was a “common law wife” and they were “man and wife” in all but a legal sense.
Read the full article here: Telegraph article – Guru to the stars in court over ‘common law divorce’

Julie-Ann Harris, Head of the Family Team at Frettens, says “It is frustrating that the phrase “common law wife” is still used so regularly! There is no legal concept of a common law husband or wife. We desperately need a modernised legal framework to reflect the reality of our culture and to provide coherent and clear guidelines applicable to partners who chose to cohabit rather than marry. It is a real shame that it remains so difficult for unmarried couples when they separate, because they find out that the law cannot provide a basis for couples to agree a settlement.”
If you thought you were a “common law wife or husband” or would like some advice on how to approach any separation, please get in touch. For a free initial meeting or conversation, please call 01202 499255 and Julie-Ann or a member of her team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.