If you are not married you may still have to deal with important financial issues. For example, you may have a home which you jointly own with your partner. If you and your partner can not decide what is to happen to the property then you can ask a court to decide. The distinction between law when it comes to married couples and unmarried couples is very important. This is because people who now enter into civil partnerships can refer to the other party as their ‘partner’ when this actually mean ‘wife’, ‘husband’, ‘civil partner’ or cohabitee. There may be property rights under the Trusts of Land and Appointments of Trustees Act 1996 (commonly referred to as TOLATA). Even if one of the separating partners is not shown on the Deeds as being the owner of the home, that partner may still have an entitlement based on the intention of the parties and contributions made. If there are children there will be an entitlement for maintenance for the children, which can be dealt with by agreement or through the Child Maintenance Service (formerly known as the Child Support Agency or CSA). In cases where there is substantial wealth, it is possible to apply for housing provision, top-up maintenance, school fees, a car and other financial assistance. This is rather a neglected area of law in general, but we have very substantial experience in it and will be able to advise you fully on how best to protect your interests. For more information on unmarried couples rights please call (020)73178930.