Cohabitation Awareness Week - 27 November to 1 December 2017

Cohabitation Awareness Week - 27 November to 1 December 2017

Date
24 Nov 2017
Cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK.  As family lawyers in the Wetherby and surrounding areas, we regularly work with couples whose relationships have, sadly, broken down. 
Increasingly couples are cohabiting - living together but are unmarried. Cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK, with recent figures showing there are currently more than 3.3m cohabiting couples in the UK.
 
Despite the commonly believed myth, there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage,’ no matter how long a couple have been together and these couples have little or no legal protection should they separate.  Under the current law it’s possible to live with someone for decades - even for them to have children together - and then simply walk away without taking any responsibility for their partner.
 
As part of national Cohabitation Awareness Week, Resolution – the family justice organisation we belong to – has joined with a range of organisations in calling for legal protection for cohabiting couples in the event of a separation.
 
However, until the law changes, cohabiting couples in Wetherby and surrounding areas need to be aware of their lack of rights, and consider taking measures to protect themselves in case their relationship breaks down. One such measure is a cohabitation agreement, a document that sets out what will happen to finances and property if the worst happens. There are many other ways we can advise cohabiting couples to protect themselves and plan for the future.
 
At the very least, cohabiting couples in our area should find out about their rights (or lack of them) if they end up separating. More information can be found on the Resolution website – www.resolution.org.uk/cohabitation or by contacting one of our specialist family solicitors on 01937 547037 for an initial consultation.
 
Kate Robinson
Hartlaw LLP
Committee Member of Resolution (West and North Yorkshire)
 

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