Cohabitation Awareness – Andrew Nelson highlights issues for unmarried couples.
27 November – 1st December is national Cohabitation Awareness Week. The week is being led by Resolution who campaign for a fairer family justice system. They are calling for Government to recognise the rights of unmarried couples who live together.
The situation now:
Cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in UK, with more than 6 million people living in these sort of relationships, representing 17% of all families. Numbers of cohabiting couples are projected to continue their rise, making it imperative to cater for these families.
Despite the myth of ‘common law marriage’, under current cohabitation law it’s possible to live with someone for decades and even to have children together and then simply walk away without taking any responsibility for a former partner if the relationship breaks down.
Many of those living together unmarried are unaware of their lack of rights and, if the relationship breaks down, surprised they are not legally protected.
This can have a huge impact, especially on women and children, particularly in cases where a mother has given up or reduced her work to raise a family.
In 2007 the Law Commission recommended affording rights to cohabiting couples yet the situation remains unchanged.
What can you do until the situation changes?
Speak to a solicitor about getting a Cohabitation Arrangement in place. Andrew Nelson at Nelson Myatt Solicitors is a Resolution family lawyer and can help you set out what is to happen with your finances and property if your relationship breaks down.
Speak to a financial advisor about making sure you have adequate insurances and financial provisions in place to look after your loved ones.
Make a Will – your solicitor can discuss the best ways to provide for your family, including your partner and any children. Carolyn Snellgrove at Nelson Myatt Solicitors is a STEP qualified solicitor specialising in Wills and estate planning who can help you take a practical approach to preparing for the worst.
If you are unsure whether we can help you, then we can offer a free half hour initial appointment to establish whether or not the services we offer are right for you and for your situation.