The Separation journey: Key Considerations for Non-Married Couples

OLS Solicitors Blog

The Separation journey: Key Considerations for Non-Married Couples

By Lara Davies on June 25, 2024

Guide to separation for unmarried couples

The Separation journey: Key Considerations for Non-Married Couples


When a non-married couple decides to part ways, the process can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. Unlike married couples, non-married partners do not have the same legal protections and rights, which can make the separation process even more daunting. Here are some crucial aspects to consider when non-married couples decide to separate.


  1. Understand Your Legal Rights


One of the first steps is to understand the legal standing of your relationship. Non-married couples do not have the same rights as married couples, and this varies significantly by jurisdiction. In the UK, for instance, there is no such thing as a “common-law marriage,” and cohabiting couples have limited legal protection. It’s crucial to seek legal advice to understand your rights regarding property, finances, and children.


  1. Property and Asset Division


Unlike married couples, non-married partners do not have an automatic right to a share of each other’s property. If the property is jointly owned, the division should be straightforward, but if it is owned by one partner, the other may not have any claim. It’s important to review any cohabitation agreements or deeds of trust that may outline how property should be divided. Seeking legal advice is highly recommended to navigate this process.


  1. Financial Agreements


Consider any financial arrangements made during the relationship. This includes joint bank accounts, loans, credit cards, and shared investments. Separating these finances can be complex, and it may be necessary to close joint accounts and settle any joint debts. Documentation of contributions to shared finances can be useful in resolving disputes.


  1. Child Custody and Support


If there are children involved, determining custody and support is paramount. Both parents have a responsibility to support their children financially. Custody arrangements should focus on the best interests of the child, including where they will live and how decisions about their upbringing will be made. Mediation can be a valuable tool in reaching an amicable agreement, and legal advice is essential to ensure that any agreement is fair and legally binding.


  1. Emotional Well-being


Separation can be emotionally taxing. It’s important to take care of your mental health and seek support from friends, family, or a professional counsellor. Maintaining a support network can help you navigate the emotional complexities of separation and make the process less isolating.


  1. Legal Agreements and Mediation


To avoid future disputes, consider formalising any agreements through legal means. This can include written agreements on property division, child custody, and financial support. Mediation can also help resolve disputes amicably, providing a neutral space to discuss and agree on the terms of your separation.


  1. Future Planning


After separation, it’s essential to plan for your future. This might include finding a new place to live, adjusting to a new financial situation, and making decisions about your career and personal goals. Creating a plan can provide a sense of direction and help you move forward with confidence. It is also important to consider making a will or updating your previous will at this time.


  1. Review and Update Documents


Finally, review and update any important documents such as your will, insurance policies, and beneficiaries on pensions or investments. Ensure that all your personal records reflect your new circumstances to avoid complications in the future.




Separation is never easy, but by understanding your rights, seeking appropriate legal advice, and focusing on both practical and emotional well-being, non-married couples can navigate the process more smoothly. Planning and open communication are key to ensuring that both parties can move forward with their lives in a fair and amicable manner.

Request A Free Callback

    Your Name *

    Your Number

    Enquiry subject *

    Best Practices for Loaning a Horse: A Comprehensive Guide

    OLS Solicitors Blog

    Best Practices for Loaning a Horse: A Comprehensive Guide

    By Lara Davies on June 18, 2024

    Get tips on loaning your horse


    Loaning a horse can be a mutually beneficial arrangement for both the owner and the borrower. It offers flexibility and the opportunity to enjoy the experience of horse ownership without the financial strain of buying your own horse. However, to ensure a successful and harmonious loaning arrangement, it’s essential to follow best practices that protect both parties and, most importantly, the welfare of the horse. In this blog post, we’ll outline the key steps and considerations for loaning a horse.

    1. Define the Terms Clearly


    Tip: Establish clear, detailed terms for the loan arrangement.

    Best Practice:

    Draft a comprehensive loan agreement that outlines the responsibilities and expectations of both the owner and the borrower. This should include:

    – Duration of the loan

    – Financial responsibilities (e.g., veterinary care, farrier, insurance, feed)

    – Care and exercise requirements

    – Usage restrictions (e.g., competition, breeding)

    – Conditions for termination of the loan


    A clear agreement helps prevent misunderstandings and provides a reference point in case of disputes.


    1. Conduct a Thorough Assessment

    Tip: Evaluate the suitability of both the horse and the borrower.

    Best Practice:

    For Owners:

    – Assess the borrower’s experience and facilities.

    – Ensure they have the necessary skills and resources to care for your horse.

    – Visit the borrower’s yard to inspect the facilities.


    For Borrowers:

    – Assess the horse’s temperament, health, and suitability for your needs.

    – Arrange for a trial period to ensure compatibility.

    – Consult with a veterinarian to verify the horse’s health status.


    A thorough assessment ensures that the horse is placed in a suitable environment and that the borrower is confident in their ability to meet the horse’s needs.


    1. Insurance and Liability

    Tip: Ensure appropriate insurance coverage is in place.

    Best Practice:

    Both parties should have adequate insurance coverage. The borrower should have public liability insurance to cover any accidents or damage caused by the horse. The owner should maintain insurance for major medical expenses, mortality, and theft. Specify in the loan agreement who is responsible for insurance premiums and any excess payments.


    Insurance provides financial protection and peace of mind, covering unforeseen events that could otherwise lead to significant costs and legal disputes.


    1. Regular Communication

    Tip: Maintain open and regular communication.

    Best Practice:

    Establish a schedule for regular updates and visits. Owners should stay informed about their horse’s well-being and any changes in its condition or behaviour. Borrowers should feel comfortable reporting any issues or concerns promptly.


    Regular communication fosters trust and ensures that any problems are addressed quickly, maintaining the welfare of the horse and the satisfaction of both parties.


    1. Veterinary Care and Health Monitoring

    Tip: Agree on a plan for veterinary care and health monitoring.

    Best Practice:

    The loan agreement should specify the protocols for routine veterinary care, vaccinations, and emergency treatments. Agree on who will contact the veterinarian, how costs will be covered, and what to do in case of an emergency.


    Regular health monitoring and timely veterinary care are crucial for the horse’s well-being. Clear guidelines prevent delays in treatment and ensure both parties know their responsibilities.


    1. Training and Exercise

    Tip: Set clear guidelines for the horse’s training and exercise regimen.

    Best Practice:

    Agree on the type and frequency of exercise and training the horse will receive. Ensure the borrower understands and respects the horse’s current fitness level and training needs. This can include specifics about riding, turnout, and any restrictions due to the horse’s age, health, or temperament.


    Consistent training and exercise are essential for the horse’s physical and mental health. Clear guidelines help maintain the horse’s condition and prevent overuse or neglect.


    1. End-of-Loan Arrangements

    Tip: Plan for the end of the loan period well in advance.

    Best Practice:

    The loan agreement should outline the procedures for returning the horse at the end of the loan period. Include conditions for extending the loan, the notice period for termination, and the process for transferring care back to the owner.


    Having a clear end-of-loan plan ensures a smooth transition for the horse and avoids last-minute complications or misunderstandings.


    1. Legal Considerations

    Tip: Consider consulting a legal professional.

    Best Practice:

    While a detailed loan agreement can cover most aspects of the arrangement, consulting with a legal professional can ensure that the contract is comprehensive and enforceable. This can be particularly important for high-value horses or complex loan arrangements.


    Legal advice helps protect both parties’ interests and ensures that the agreement complies with relevant laws and regulations.




    Loaning a horse can be a rewarding experience when done correctly. By following these best practices, owners and borrowers can create a structured, transparent, and fair arrangement that prioritises the horse’s welfare and meets the needs of both parties. Clear agreements, thorough assessments, and regular communication are key to a successful loaning experience.


    Remember, the primary goal is to ensure the well-being of the horse while fostering a positive and beneficial relationship between the owner and the borrower.

    Request A Free Callback

      Your Name *

      Your Number

      Enquiry subject *

      Ask Us A Question