A report has shown that cohabiting couples are now the second largest household in the UK with an estimated 3.3 million unmarried couples living together. The report published by the Office of National Statistics showed a significant increase from 1996 when the number was estimated to be 1.5 million and is expected to continue to rise.
Despite the large increase in the number of couples cohabiting the law has not changed and remains inadequate. Many cohabiting couples do not realise that they do not have the same legal rights and protection as married couples. There is no such thing as “common law marriage” and at present there is very little legal protection available for couples who choose not to marry. The length of the relationship does not create any obligation of financial support.
Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers are holding a cohabitation awareness week which starts on 27th November 2017. It is hoped that this campaign will raise awareness of the inadequacies of the law as it stands and hopes to put pressure on the government to change the law to provide better security and remedies for cohabiting couples if the relationship breaks down.
If you are thinking about moving in with your partner or purchasing a home together it is vital that you take advice upon the legal position before doing so. You can speak to one of our cohabitation law specialists at Lincoln on 01522 888555 or in York on 01904 610886 for a free initial consultation.