2nd April 2020
Many couples faced a difficult decision when Boris Johnson announced tighter social-distancing measures on Friday 20 March.
Do they speed-track their relationship and move in together during this period of UK wide lock-down, or do they continue to live their lives apart and risk their relationship not lasting the distance?
Under the current guidance people are encouraged to remain in their homes and only leave for essential travel such as work (if they are classed as a key worker) to provide care, exercise or shop for essential items. Travelling to see a partner or spending time at your partner’s house would not be classed as ‘essential’ and would be putting both households at risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus.
With pubs, restaurants and places of leisure closed for business, the prospect of a romantic date is over for the foreseeable future. Even a romantic stroll would have to form part of your daily exercise allowance.
Many couples who chose to stay living separately have had to settle for ‘virtual’ dates whilst under the social-distancing rules. Speaking to each other over the phone, via video call and social media apps to keep the spark in their relationship without physically spending time together.
For some couples this is feasible, and they are content that their relationship can continue during the lockdown. This may particularly work if couples have elderly family members to care for, they are in the high-risk category themselves, they have a long-distance relationship or one or both of them are key workers.
With no clear timescale for how long these rules will be in place for the option of staying apart may not be realistic for some couples. Those who have been seriously dating for some time may have decided to take the plunge and move into each other’s homes.
Under the rules couples will need to choose one person’s residence to live at and should avoid going back and forth between properties and limit contact they have with other people.
Suddenly taking the leap of faith to move in with a partner may mean that some of the serious conversations that you would usually have before moving in together are put on hold or glossed over. But it is important to understand your legal position when living together when you are unmarried.
Being thrown together like this may be an interesting way to test your relationship and find out whether you can realistically live together long-term, particularly if you are also both working from home during the coronavirus pandemic!
If your short-term lockdown becomes your long-term living arrangement then there are some legal matters to consider in order to protect yourself, your partner and your family.
If one of you was to pass away without a will, then the property or assets may not pass on to the other partner as intended.
Once you have passed through the lockdown together you may want to consider meeting with a Family Lawyer to discuss how best to protect your interests if you plan to continue to co-habit with your partner.
Documents to consider would be:
For more information or guidance on your own personal circumstances please get in touch with our Family Law Team on 01256 844888, email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to our online chat assistant via our website.
We hope we can help you by providing peace of mind and stringent advice that you can rely on to continue with your relationship living together happily.
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The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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