Many people think that if you live with your partner for a couple of years you get the same rights as married couples. But this simply isn’t true. Therefore it is important that you understand your relationship’s legal status.

Marriage may not be right for everyone.  There are a variety of reasons why some couples choose to live together without the benefit of a legal union.  However, there are legal differences between marriage and cohabitation relationships which you must fuly understand before deciding the way forward for you and your partner.

Information and advice on Marriage, Living together and Civil Partnerships, including the following:

  • Getting married
  • Legal differences between Living together and Marriage
  • Legal differences between Civil Partnerships and Living together
  • Registering a Civil Partnership 

is available from citizensadvice.

Six important questions you should discuss before moving in with someone, can be found at

For information on the practical and legal issues surrounding getting married, living together and civil partnerships, go to GOV.UK.

A guide, "Cohabitation – your rights" is available from The Law Society.

A range of fact sheets on living together is available from advicenow

A guide, "Moving in Together", is available from The Law Society.. 

For a guide to buying a house with another person, go to

For a leaflet explaining  how to open a joint bank account, go to MoneyHelper.

For a detailed explanation of the Married Couple's Allowance (including civil partnerships), go to GOV.UK.

For further information on Tax and your partner go to

If you're being forced to marry someone against your will, you can seek help and advice at this link.

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