Areas of Law / Divorce and Family

I bought my own house three years ago. I was considering asking my girlfriend to move in with me, but I’m told me that after six months she would be classed as my common law wife. Is this true, and would she therefore be entitled to half the house if we were to split up?

There’s no such thing as a common law wife. After two years living with you your girlfriend would have a claim on your estate, including the house, if you were to die. Otherwise she could only develop a claim on your property if she contributed to the mortgage, invested money in the fabric of the house, or if you promised her a share in the house either verbally or in writing. You could draw up a cohabitation agreement to make your positions clear.

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