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Clearer vision for cohabiting couples?

Statistics released by Resolution today indicate that nearly half of unmarried couples are unaware that they do not have the same legal rights as a married couple should they separate. Whilst this is nothing new, it reinforces the pressing need for reform to the current law. It further raises concerns that cohabiting couples may feel forced to stay in an unhappy and possibly unhealthy relationship for fear of financial hardship in the event of separation.

Resolution has drawn up a "vision for family justice" blueprint setting out proposed reforms to the current cohabitation law. Such proposals include cohabitees meeting eligibility criteria to indicate a committed relationship which would give them an automatic right to apply for certain financial remedies if they later separate. This is certainly a step in the right direction and it is hoped that the “vision for family justice" blueprint will continue to raise awareness of the lack of legal protection for unmarried couples.

Jo Edwards, chair of Resolution’s family law reform committee, said: 'This research has a very clear message - that many people do not want to get married or feel unable to do so. Those choices - or lack of choices - should not exclude them from legal protection if their relationship comes to an end. As Resolution looks to the future, it’s clear that reforming the law around cohabitants rights on separation to ensure they have proper legal protections is both vital and widely supported.’


family law