Is Law Failing To Keep Up With Cohabiting Couples?

Family Law organisation, Resolution, claim that the law is failing to give cohabiting couples the same protection as married couples.

With cohabiting couples now the fastest growing family type in the past two decades according to Office for National Statistics figures, little has been done to protect couples who separate. When married couples separate there are well established laws to fall back on which can help couples move on while cohabiting couples are left without any rights.

3.3 million families in the UK are now classed as cohabiting couple families which is double what it was twenty years ago. This indicates a real shift in society’s attitudes to marriage. It is becoming increasingly clear that a significant proportion of the population are deciding that cohabitation offers a more flexible arrangement. However, when problems arise as they often do in relationships, it becomes all too easy to leave the relationship.

Many cohabiting couples mistakenly believe that they will be entitled to the same treatment as married couples when there are disputes only to find that there isn’t. The myth of the ‘common law marriage’ often catches many couples out when they decide to explore their legal options.