Cheryl and Liam
Cheryl and Liam have been dating since 2016 Liam Payne/Instagram

Liam Payne and Cheryl's relationship is reportedly on the rocks. The former One Direction star has sought legal advice about the end of his relationship with the twice-divorced mother of his baby son Bear, according to The Sun.

The celebrity couple would have to consider arrangements for their 11-month old baby and the £5.1m mansion they share together in Surrey.

Payne, 24, and Cheryl, 34, began dating in early 2016 following the former Girls Aloud singer's separation from Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, with the couple welcoming their first child in March 2017.

A source close to the couple said: "Liam has sought some legal advice but he still wants to make it work. It's just sensible to be prepared for all options.

"With a young son and a number of assets between them there is more to breaking up than just parting ways. He hopes it doesn't come to it but he's just being careful."

It was revealed in The Sun on Sunday that friends of the couple feared that they are ready to split despite holding crisis talks. When the story emerged, Payne was more than 200 miles away from the family home and was watching the boxing match between George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr in Manchester.

An onlooker is reported to have said: "He looked pretty glum. His mind understandably looked elsewhere."

Since embarking on a relationship with Cheryl, Payne has been making a success of his solo singing career with a lot of hard work and travelling across the globe.

But his jet-setting is thought to have placed an intolerable strain on the couple's two-year relationship, with Cheryl often finding herself at home alone with their baby son.

The couple first met back in 2008 when Payne auditioned for The X Factor with Cheryl as one of the judges. Cheryl, who was married to Ashley Cole at the time, said as feedback: "I think you're really cute. I think you've got charisma and you give us that cheeky little wink."