Cohabiting couple families
6th March, 2015
Cohabiting couple families are the fastest growing family type in the UK, but does this make a common law marriage?
The Office of National Statistics has recently published annual statistics on varying family types in the UK. This year’s data found that cohabiting couple families grew by almost 30% over the decade to 2014, making it the fasting growing family type in the UK. Overall, cohabiting couples make up 16% of family types in the UK.
There is a common misconception amongst a large proportion of the UK population that living with a partner can lead to a ‘common law marriage’, presenting the same legal rights as marriage itself.
On the contrary, the financial orders available to married couples simply do not apply to cohabiting couples. Instead, cohabiting couples must rely on complex law that has developed over time, and continues to develop, leaving a greater sense of uncertainty for separating cohabitees.
Whilst no doubt individuals are committed to their partners and intend their cohabitation to be an enduring family relationship, it is important for those intending to cohabit to consider options available to protect their position. We would recommend that parties enter into a Cohabitation Agreement to expressly set out the arrangements which will apply whilst they live together, as well as their respective rights in the unfortunate event of a relationship breakdown.
The significant increase in cohabiting couple families has led to many commentators saying that the archaic legislation needs updating. The Cohabitation Rights Bill has been in parliament for some time now, but with the forthcoming election, we may see further developments.
For further information and advice in relation to options for the cohabiting couples or the consequences of a relationship breakdown, please contact Richard Barge on 01244 405443 or send an email to [email protected]
You might also be interested in...
22nd May, 2018
With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May, businesses across Shropshire have been flocking to hear more about the new laws Paul Bennett, a partner at law firm Aaron & Partners LLP, has been delivering seminars in partnership with the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce An employment solicitor from Shrewsbury is urging businesses across the... Read More »
15th May, 2018
Experienced HR leader joins Aaron & Partners LLP Law firm with offices in Chester and Shrewsbury appoints Kate Robertson to drive HR strategy for more than 120 staff and to support the company’s growth Chester law firm Aaron & Partners LLP has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of an experienced human resources manager. Kate Robertson... Read More »
24th April, 2018
Jan Chillery, Insolvency Partner at Aaron & Partners LLP, shares her experience and the reasons why we should be cautious before paying so-called “bailiffs” over the phone or online without vetting them first. My neighbour has told me that recently he had a CCJ (County Court Judgment) against him. A day or so later, he received a phone call... Read More »