Family lawyers are asking for the government to reconsider their decision to prioritise reforming the law relating to divorcing couples ahead of reform to the law affecting unmarried families. All family lawyers at some point in their careers will have had to break devastating news to a cohabitant who wrongly believes that they have rights as a result of living with their partner. All too often they will not, and more often than not, the outcome negatively impacts women, especially those who have taken a career break.
Cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK so the government's disappointing lack of action will negatively impact an increasing number of families as time goes by.
Fortunately cohabiting couples can avoid some of these problems, but only if they think about the issue prior to the relationship foundering. For those sensible individuals, a cohabitation agreement can give certainty about what will happen if the relationship breaks down, and could avoid substantial legal bills.