It is now very common for couples to live together rather than to marry and for more same sex couples to live together than previously. Couples should consider taking legal advice so that they are aware of the legal implications of their choices. Couples can choose different ways of being together – they may choose to marry, cohabit or enter into a civil partnership. These different choices are affected by different laws.

It is a good idea for people to take legal advice and have an Agreement drawn up so that they know where they stand both legally and emotionally in their relationship and so that they are protected. Whilst the recent new laws give some protection for couples living together, these are not the same as for married couples or couples in a civil partnership. It is important that couples choosing to live together should know where they stand legally and make arrangements to sort matters out fairly in case the relationship comes to an end or one of the partners dies.