According to the latest statistics released by ONS, the number of cohabiting couples has risen rapidly in the UK. This has raised concerns about the lack of legal protection for couples if a partner decides they want to separate.
The rise in cohabitation puts pressure on the government to act and provide some kind of safety net for families who don’t enjoy the same protection as married couples. The latter still makes up the majority of families in the UK even though cohabiting couples currently account for 17% overall.
The number of couples cohabiting reached 3.2 million in 2015. This raises a number of issues for a society that has placed great importance on marriage as a means to bond families together.
Unlike married couples, a partner living as part of a cohabiting couple can simply get up and walk away without having to take any responsibility for the welfare of a former partner.
This can have a particularly bad effect on any children the couple may have as one partner can be left struggling to bring up children alone. If the current trend continues, then new laws will need to be introduced to keep pace with how society is developing.