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The couple will have shared property and income and may have savings and pensions. If they were married all of these financial resources can be divided between them. Lewis failed to walk Nicole down the aisle and their relationship was simply that they lived together. The label "common law marriage" is sometimes attributed to this arrangement but there is no law or marriage element involved at all. The label is misleading and often leads to the assumption that unmarried couples have the same financial claims as married couples. Couples who simply live together have no financial claims against each other unless they own the property they were living in. In that case ownership of the property would need to be sorted out, but that is the extent of any financial division. This is regardless of how long they have lived together. Of course for Lewis and Nicole this is no hardship – they are both wealthy in their own right. That is not the case for the majority. It is possible to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement at the start of your relationship in order to have a clear understanding of the financial position should the relationship end.

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