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Cohabiting Couples - Raising Awareness of the Common-Law Marriage Myth

Claire Dyer

Partner Claire Dyer, in our Family law team, highlights some of the myths that many cohabiting couples may not be aware of.

Our family team is proud to be part of Resolution, a national group of family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. We follow a code of practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems where appropriate and encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family - and in particular the best interests of children.

Resolution has reported that the most popular day to get married this year in England and Wales is 18 August. With this in mind, they are encouraging family practitioners to think about issues that non-married couples face when they separate.

For the past two decades, marriage rates have declined and the number of couples cohabiting has increased. In 2016 there were around 6.6million cohabiting adults according to Resolution. This is officially the fastest growing family type, more than doubling from 1.5million couples just 20 years ago. Yet, a 2017 ComRes survey showed that only one couple in three knew there was no such thing as common law marriage.

Resolution has produced a guide explaining cohabitee’s rights that highlights some of the myths that many cohabiting couples may not be aware of.

If you would like to speak to us about  ways to protect your position if you are in a cohabiting relationship and/or how matters are likely to be dealt with in the event of separation, please contact Claire Dyer or a member of our team.

This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.