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Cohabitation Awareness Week 2017

Cohabitation Awareness Week 2017

Posted by Deborah - November 21 2017

Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers who are committed to resolving family disputes in a constructive and non-confrontational manner, run a week-long campaign each year to raise awareness about a particular aspect of family law.  This year’s campaign is targeted at those who are living together but who are not married.

A bulletin entitled “Family and Households 2017” recently published by the ONS details trends in living arrangements in the UK, and according to these most recent statistics, cohabiting couple families are the fastest growing family in the UK, which rose from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million families in 2017. 

Nowadays, many people prefer to cohabit instead of marrying, or choose to cohabit before marriage, yet many cohabiting couples are unaware of the lack of legal protection afforded to them by the current law should they separate.  The concept of ‘common law marriage’ remains a myth and the stark reality is that cohabiting couples are treated very differently to married couples on the breakdown of a relationship.

Whilst there continues to be significant campaigning to change the law for cohabiting couples, so they are better protected on separation, we are still some way off from achieving this.  The Cohabitation Rights Bill addresses the rights of cohabiting couples, but it is still in the early stages of passing through Parliament.  It is therefore crucial that cohabiting couples are aware of their legal rights and the steps that can be taken to protect themselves and their children should their relationship not endure.  This is why Resolution have chosen to focus on this aspect of family law in their national awareness week this year.

National Cohabitation Awareness Week is taking place between 27 November and 1 December 2017 and will no doubt be a hot topic in the press, so keep an eye out for more information, commentary and guidance during the campaign!

If you are cohabiting, or contemplating moving in with your partner, and have any questions or require further guidance, please get in touch to arrange your free 30 minute consultation with one of our specialist family lawyers.

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