There has been lots of press coverage over the last few days that Cheryl and Liam’s relationship is on the rocks and that the couple may shortly look to separate.

The fact that the couple aren’t married has not stopped Liam for reportedly ‘calling in the divorce lawyers’. It is reported that Liam has a fortune of £54 million in comparison to Cheryl’s reported £20 million and if the couple is to split, this clearly raises a number of questions in terms of how they would split any shared assets. I am sure the couple will, however, agree that their greatest asset is their 11-month-old son Bear.

I often advise cohabiting couples about their legal position in the event they separate. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a common-law husband and wife. Cohabiting couples splitting up don’t have the same financial claims as a divorcing couple.  If there are however children of the relationship then it may be possible to use the financial wing of the Children Act to secure a property to live in for their childhood years if there are sufficient resources to make this feasible and it is, therefore, crucial to know your rights early on an be prepared for all options.

In relation to Bear, it would be a good idea for the couple to perhaps take a leaf out of Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay Frontman Chris Martin’s book and work together to agree on the future arrangements for Bear at an early stage. Many will have heard that Gwyneth Paltrow referred to her split with Chris Martin as “conscious uncoupling“ and the couple indicated that they still intended to “co-parent” their children.

Although Paltrow and Martin’s approach ought to be commended, it will be difficult to see how Liam and Cheryl will be able to “co-parent” as both have gruelling work commitments and Liam’s solo career, in particular, is taking off and he is frequently out of the country.

When separating or considering a divorce it is important to deal with the legal, financial and any child aspects of separation in an amicable and friendly manner as not only will this approach benefit the emotional well being of both parties and the child or children, but in most cases, this approach tends to reduce the chances of getting embroiled in prolonged and costly court proceedings at a later stage.

There are many ways in which to split amicably and expert legal advice should be sought to explore the various options available. The Family Solicitors at Gorvins are all members of Resolution, a national organisation which is committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. We follow the Resolution Code of Practice which promotes a non-confrontational approach and we consider the needs and best interests of the whole family and in particular those of children. If you require advice in relation to a separation or divorce and would like to know about the various options open to you, you may contact Kerry Russell, Associate Family Solicitor by email at

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