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No exoneration

Assuming that a committed relationship has established a ‘common law marriage’ is likely to only have a bitter end, warns Lloyd Junor

19 March 2015

Cohabitee claims to a beneficial share of property are on the rise. This has largely been fuelled by the informality of living arrangements, a persistent belief that unmarried couples have a ‘common law marriage’ and an increase in cohabiting.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) records that cohabitation is the fastest growing family type in the UK, with the number doubling between 1996 and 2012 to 5.9m households.

Personal representatives should therefore be aware of such claims. A recent case on the area (Graham-York v Adrian York & Ors [2015] EWCA Civ 72) helps to do that.

The Modern Approach

Before looking at Graham-York, it is worth reminding ourselves of how the ...

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