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For 13 years David Cobern was employed as a Civil/Family Law litigator by a local firm. He joined The Family Law Company in 2002, since which time he has specialised in family law matters. His knowledge and valuable input to the company helped him become a Director of Legal Services in August 2015. David has extensive experience of representing clients in relation to divorce, finance and private law children matters. He represents clients in high value finance and complex children matters. David has developed a particular area of interest relating to disputes between unmarried former partners, particularly in relation to property, financial provision for children and associated issues. He now heads the team advising unmarried clients in relation to property and finance issues. This is a challenging and evolving area of law where some clients (and children) are potentially seriously disadvantaged by their circumstances.
The Family Law Company
The Family Law Co. is a firm of family law specialists. Founded in 1991 by Norman Hartnell, The Family Law Company (formerly known as Hartnell Chanot & Partners) has grown to become the largest firm of family law solicitors in the South West with offices in Exeter and Plymouth, a bespoke service in North Cornwall and Somerset, as well as the ability to represent clients in London and across the world.
Foreword by Michael Berkley
Michael Berkley is Joint Head of Chambers, Magdalen Chambers, Exeter. Civil Recorder. Recommended by The Legal 500 - 2015 as a Leading Junior for Commercial, Banking and Insolvency and Property - ‘A very personable and able lawyer’.
Living Together and the Law:
A Guide to Cohabitation
By David Cobern
‘Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans’.
More and more couples are choosing to live together outside marriage. In 2015, out of a total of 18.7 million families living in the UK, 12.5 million consisted of married couples (including same-sex married/civil partnerships) and 3.2 million consisted of unmarried couples. This is compared with just 2.1 million cohabiting unmarried couples in 2000. This trend is expected to continue and it is now likely that, in the UK, more than half of 20-year-olds will never marry.
Many couples living together in long-term unmarried relationships mistakenly believe they have the same rights as couples who are married. Some cohabitees think of themselves as the ‘common law spouse’ and they believe they are in a ‘common-law marriage’. So it can come as a shock to discover that ‘common law marriage’ is a myth and living with someone for a long time gives you no legal rights at all. Therefore, if it all goes wrong and you separate what do you do about, for example:
Living Together and the Law is published in association with The Family Law Company and provides comprehensive coverage of protective measures and remedies available to you as an unmarried partner. Written for a general readership it provides clear and straightforward guidance on topics such as: property; children; finances; Cohabitation Agreements; unmarried partners and business interests; the death of an unmarried partner; Alternative Dispute Resolution, etc.
So, if you have any worries or concerns about your legal status as an unmarried partner, this guide to cohabitation can offer information, practical solutions or simply food for thought before you move in together, before you make major decisions or purchases, or before you end the relationship.