In the event you have entered into a civil partnership the process and principles are the same as for married couples, therefore please see our page on ‘Financial issues – Married‘ for civil partnerships, same sex marriage and heterosexual marriage.

If you are in a cohabiting relationship with your partner you are afforded little protection and certainly not the same rights as married couples. The Government are aware of the problems cohabiting couples face and are currently reviewing this area of law. The only claim that you can potentially make is in relation to any assets you jointly own, or any property that you can establish an interest in (whether due to a financial contribution or otherwise) regardless of how long you have been together; unfortunately common law marriage is a myth.

A Declaration of Trust is useful when two people purchase a property in unequal shares and wish to record their contributions. If a declaration of trust is not entered into, in the event of a dispute, the sale proceeds could be split equally irrespective of your contributions.

It may be that you have an understanding with your partner that you will receive more of the equity when/if the property is sold, but without something in writing setting out your respective shares, you are vulnerable if the relationship breaks down and your partner changes their mind.

Cohabitation agreements are used by unmarried couples who wish to outline their respective contributions towards the property and/or general household outgoings.

Separation agreements are commonly used by unmarried couples who either have children that they need to provide for or joint assets that need to be dealt with. A separation agreement can also be useful if you intend to wait two or five years before starting divorce proceedings.

Financial provision for children

If you have a child with your partner you may be able to apply to the court under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 (often referred to as “Schedule 1” applications) for financial provision on behalf of a child in addition to that which the Child Maintenance Service provides or if the Child Maintenance Service does not have jurisdiction in your matter.

Our Family Law Team are highly competent with TOLATA proceedings and can advise you in relation to your rights and assist with negotiations and/or mediation/collaborative law. Our Family Law Team can also represent you if an application has to be made to the court for an Order for Sale or to determine your interest in property.

For more information regarding your options, or to book an initial meeting with one of our Solicitors, please contact our Family Law Team on 020 3096 7500 or email

Fixed fees

We offer a variety of fixed fee packages starting from £320 + VAT. We also provide a document checking service for any document in your matter. For more information regarding our fixed fee packages for financial issues please speak to one of our family solicitors on 020 3096 7500.

Examples of our services include:

  • Drafting a Declaration of Trust in respect of property ownership
  • Drafting a Separation Agreement
  • Drafting a Cohabitation (“living together”) Agreement
  • Drafting Form A1 (Schedule 1 – financial provision for children)
  • Severing a Joint Tenancy
  • “I want to thank you so much Sarah for being so calm, professional, compassionate and expeditious. It really helped me a lot through this tough time and it allowed the pre-nup to be much better drafted than if it had just been drafted by the other side!”

    – Mrs L.M, London

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  • “It was a stressful situation for me and you made it much easier with how you put me at ease from our first meeting, handled everything along the way and kept me updated (and answered all my many, many questions!!) all the way through. Thanks very much!!!”

    Mrs N.G, Essex

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  • Sarah has been very understanding and more importantly very honest throughout this very difficult period. She has been reliable and has always updated me regularly with my options and what the likely consequences will be. I would recommend her services to anyone who wants a honest, clear and no nonsense service.

    Ms R.S, London

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  • “Divorce is an unavoidably stressful situation but from the moment PCM took over my case until it was concluded I always felt it was in safe hands and this made it much easier to deal with.”

    – Mr J.H. Yorkshire

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  • Caroline, a huge thank you to you and your colleagues for the smooth and sensitive way in which you have handled a very difficult situation. I have always found you friendly, polite, professional yet supportive, knowledgeable and your no-nonsense approach has really been appreciated. I have no hesitation in both using and recommending PCM due in no small part to how good both you (and Paul in the past) have handled my issues. My sincere thanks to you and your team”.

    – Ms T.L, Wimbledon

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  • “Caroline has been an extremely amicable solicitor to deal with during a time of immense stress. Suffice to say I have already returned to her for help with other matters.”

    – Mr P.A, London (SE1)

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