Resolution calls for safety net for cohabiting couples
The Office for National Statistics figures published today call
for a change in the law in relation to cohabiting couples according
to the family law group Resolution.
Figures show that there are now 3.3 million cohabiting couple
families in the UK, with the number more than doubling over the
last twenty years. A cohabiting couple usually relates to an
unmarried couple living together as partners without entering into
a marriage or civil partnership.
In 2016, married or civil partner couple families remained the
most common type of family in the UK although cohabiting couple
families were the fastest growing family type between 1996 and
In the event that a cohabiting couple separates, they currently
have little or no legal protection - despite the myth of 'common
law' spouse which has no legal status. Resolution believes that the
high growth in cohabiting couples is further evidence that the law
needs to catch up with modern British society as until new
legislation is introduced cohabiting couples are not well protected
by the law.
Resolution Chair, Nigel Shepherd, said:
"These ONS figures are further proof that more and more
couples are choosing to live together and bring up their children
without marrying. Sadly, some of those relationships will come to
an end at some point. This is a feature of our modern society that
is here to stay and unfortunately current cohabitation law is
failing to provide them with the rights some of them mistakenly
think they have.
Rather than ignoring these 3.3million families, our
lawmakers must respond andintroduce safety net legislation that
will provide legal protection and fair outcomes at the time of a
Resolution's spokesman Graeme Fraser
stated that under current cohabitation law it's possible to
live with someone for decades and even to have children together
and then simply walk away without taking any responsibility for a
former partner when the relationship breaks down.
year Resolution released its Manifesto for Family Law calling for
the introduction of some rights for cohabiting couples when they
full Office for National Statistics Report can be read here.
Posted on: 04/11/2016
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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