This week Resolution announced Cohabitation Awareness week.
The number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled to 3.3 million over the past twenty years. Unfortunately despite the fact that more and more people are choosing to live together rather than marry or enter into a civil partnership the law has not caught up.
Couples who live together often assume they have the same legal protection as married couples particularly if they have lived together for a number of years or have children together but this is not the case under the current law.
Indeed you may well be surprised to learn that if you stay at home to care for the children you cannot make any claims in your own right for property, maintenance or pension sharing and cohabiting couples are not legally obliged to support each other financially. Also if one of you dies, the survivor will not automatically inherit anything unless a Will was made or the parties owned property jointly.
Nigel Shepherd, Resolution Chairman, is campaigning for the Government to listen to the public, legal professionals and a growing number of politicians to reform the law so as to provide basic rights to cohabiting couples should they separate.
If you require any advice as to your rights as a cohabitee please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialist family lawyers. We are able to offer an initial half hour interview free of charge to discuss your situation. Please contact us for further advice using the Call Back Section at the bottom of the Family Law section of our website.