Are you taking part in Cohabitation Awareness Week 2019?

This week see’s Resolution running their Cohabitation Awareness Week (25th – 29th November 2019) with the aim of raising awareness about the lack of rights that exist for unmarried couples who live together. 

With more than 7 million people in the UK living in this type of relationship, cohabitation is the fastest growing family type in the country. 

Resolution is campaigning for cohabiting couples to have at least basic rights on relationship breakdown or death of their partner, and is also working to raise awareness so cohabiting couples can take measures to protect themselves. 

Roopa Ahluwalia, Family and Matrimonial Partner at BDB Pitmans:  

“The latest ONS statistics show a changing trend in household composition. Over the last decade the number of cohabiting couples with dependent children has increased by more than a quarter; however, these couples are not afforded the same legal rights as married couples. As this household set-up becomes more and more common, couples need to ensure that they are protected in the eventuality of a relationship breakdown or in the case of bereavement.  

“In the last twenty years, the fastest growing type of household is that which consisted of more than one family.  This must largely be down to the increased cost of housing.”  

 Harry Golding, Solicitor at Thomson Snell & Passmore, further adds:  

“The proportion of unmarried cohabiting couple families continue to rise, while the proportion of married couple families decreases. This is worrying from a legal perspective as, unlike married couples, cohabiting couples are afforded no special status under the law of England and Wales.  

“The very limited financial remedies that might be available on the breakdown of a cohabiting relationship are borrowed from other areas of the law and are often very complex and disproportionately expensive to resolve, even in situations where one of the parties has made significant career or financial sacrifices for the sake of the relationship.  

“Despite some calls in the legal sector for this situation to be remedied, it looks unlikely that this will happen any time soon. We therefore recommend that any couples who do make the choice to cohabit seek legal advice early in the relationship to discuss the possibility of an express cohabitation agreement.” 

You can join in the conversation on social media using #FairnessForFamilies. 

More information about the awareness week is available on the Resolution website. 

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