Barbie and Ken – the perfect couple, or so we thought. Without wishing to give away any spoilers, things become less than harmonious between the pair in the latest blockbuster movie.

Fashion dolls Barbie and Ken met in 1961 and, according to toy company Mattel, it was love at first sight.

However, their relationship goes through a rocky spell in the movie when a visit to ‘human world’ turns into a journey of self-discovery for the dynamic duo.

Like many couples, Barbie and Ken chose not to get married. They have no children and Barbie is the sole owner of the Dreamhouse. Everything seems straightforward – unless, of course, the relationship permanently breaks down.

In these circumstances, Ken is likely to be left with nowhere to live as he has no absolute right to remain in the home.

Even though Barbie owns the property, she might find that Ken claims a ‘beneficial interest’ based on financial contributions that he has made to the Dreamhouse. This is likely to result in costly and protracted court proceedings.

What Barbie and Ken need to understand is that ‘common law marriage’ is a myth that has no legal status. Even after more than 60 years together, they do not have the same legal protection as married couples.

Barbie and Ken require a cohabitation agreement, setting out financial arrangements, such as how their property, savings and assets should be split if their relationship breaks down.

To be legally binding, their cohabitation agreement should be properly drafted by a family solicitor. Think of it as an insurance policy but a lot more reasonable as you only pay once and it protects you forever.

Living together (or cohabitation) requires thought and planning to ensure both parties are properly protected. If you require more information about this or any other family law matter, please don’t hesitate to contact our Stoke-on-Trent solicitors on 01782 205000, our Altrincham solicitors on 0161 929 8494 or email enquiry@beswicks.com.