The Unmarried Family

Cohabitation rights and laws if you cohabit with your partner –

The number of couples living together has steadily increased over recent decades and nearly 50% of births are now outside marriage.

Many couples who live together without having gone through the formal legal procedures for marriage would be surprised to learn that there is no such thing in law as a “common law marriage” and that they do not enjoy the same rights as married couples when they separate.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence occurs very frequently within relationships and affects victims of either sex. It is defined as not only physical violence but also other forms of abuse such as threats, harassment and intimidation. If you feel you need the protection of the court because of a violent or abusive relationship, then you may need to apply for a Non-Molestation order, otherwise known as an “injunction”.

We can help by applying to the court for protection under a fixed fee arrangement.

Family Property

We can help you make sense of your finances after a relationship breakdown whether you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting with your partner.

Negotiated settlements can offer significant benefits.

If you are married or in a civil partnership then provided your divorce or dissolution proceedings are underway any agreement about family property can be backed up with a "consent order", which a court order based on your agreement and made with the approval of a Judge. Once approved, a consent order will have the force of law and so it can be relied on in the future.

Children's Law

Children are often caught in the crossfire when parents separate and many parents do not see their children regularly following a family breakdown. Other family members, particularly grandparents, can also fall out of the picture.

If you are finding it difficult to maintain your relationship with your children following divorce or separation, then we can represent you in negotiations or refer you to a mediator. If you are unable to agree a way forward with the other parent, we can act for you in an application for a court order.

Divorce and Separation

At Lincolns Family Law we understand that if you are contemplating divorce or separation, it will be an anxious time for all concerned, and there will be many questions that you need answers to.

Grounds for divorce: While the only ground for divorce is “irretrievable breakdown”, you must rely on one or more “supporting facts” when starting divorce proceedings. These can be unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion, 2 years' separation (with the consent of your spouse) or 5 years' separation (when their consent is no longer needed).