Common Law Misconceptions

 Arsenal and England footballer Ray Parlor was recently ordered to pay his ex-wife Karen a third of his earnings over the next four years in a high-profile divorce case. And this £ 444,000 a year income

Common law misconceptions



Arsenal and England footballer Ray Parlor was recently ordered to pay his ex-wife Karen a third of his earnings over the next four years in a high-profile divorce case. And the £ 444,000-a-year income was on top of two non-collateral houses worth more than £ 1 million, and a total of £ 250,000.


While most people do not earn a million and a ‘salary’ for older soccer players and will find it difficult to understand the amount involved, this case shows that marriage can be a very expensive business - especially if it ends in divorce.


However, the Government is concerned that two million British couples living together should also be made aware of their responsibilities in the event of a divorce.


Common belief


The Living Together campaign, through the Advicenow.org.uk website and a marriage research organization called One Plus One, plans to release a 'common-law' myth. The legal status of a common wife or husband was actually abolished in 1753, but many people mistakenly believe that common law marriages exist and that people living together have the same rights as married couples.


Other worrying delusions include two-thirds of women who mistakenly think that because they have been living with their partner for five years they are entitled to automatic financial assistance.


And about half of those surveyed reported that after five years of living together, the surviving spouse would receive the assets of the deceased spouse without a will.


The campaign encourages people living together to make Love Agreements, which specify what will happen if they separate the Documents, which include things like property ownership. It also emphasizes the importance of legacy.


It is believed that one in six divorced couples living together is not married and that by 2021 the total number of these couples will rise to three million.

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