Family law “has failed to keep up with society”

Calls for the law to be changed to provide better protection for cohabitees show no sign of abating.

The latest set of figures, issued by the Office for National Statistics earlier this month, show that one in eight adults in England and Wales is now unmarried and living with a partner.

For Resolution, the family law association, the increase in cohabitation is just further proof that current laws are desperately outdated and do not meet the needs of 21st century Britain.

Jo Edwards, who chairs the influential organisation, said that at the moment the UK was lagging behind many other developed countries and that legislation had failed to keep up with changes to society.

“Cohabitation is the fastest growing type of relationship in the country,” she said.

“Despite this, the law doesn’t give people in this type of relationship any meaningful legal protection if they separate or if one of them dies.

“Too often I see people who are separating from their live-in partner, who come to me looking for help in accessing what they regard as being their fair share of the assets. All too often I have to tell them that they have no rights whatsoever.”

Resolution has been campaigning for changes to cohabitation laws for a considerable period of time. The system they favour would give those unmarried couples who could prove they were in a committed relationship the right to apply for certain financial orders.

This arrangement would not attempt to make cohabitation the same as marriage, but supporters say it would go some way to making the system significantly fairer.

If you or somebody you know has any questions about cohabiting then contact Diane Genders specialist divorce solicitors in Lincoln today on 01522 516500.