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Family Law Blog : Unmarried couples

Comment on divorce & family law

How can the law help unmarried couples?

unmarried couple holding hands and walking

There have been calls for years now for the law to do more to help unmarried, cohabiting couples. When a couple marries, they immediately get certain legal rights and liabilities. So, for instance, their joint property and assets are split if they divorce, with a starting point of a 50/50…


BBC Archers Storyline highlights the rights of unmarried fathers

Archers logo over fields for the article BBC Archers Storyline and Unmarried Fathers Rights

Archers fans may be reeling with the death of Nic Grundy, but there’s another issue that’s been exercising the minds of family lawyers in recent weeks. How are Pip Archer and Toby Fairbrother going to manage as parents? And how much of their legal responsibility they have yet come to…


Prenups and unmarried couples’ rights in The Archers

Prenups and cohabitation rights in The Archers

Second marriages and prenuptial agreements have been one of the most recent storylines of The Archers. Through the trials and tribulations in the relationship between Lillian and Justin the BBC radio show has cast its light on 21st century family life from the comfort of fictional Ambridge. Prenuptial agreements are…


Are couples steering clear of marriage for fear of divorce?

Cohabiting couples fastest growing family group

The office for National Statistics has recently reported that cohabitating couples are the fastest growing family type. Apparently, it is now the second largest family type and has doubled its figures from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million families in 2017. The explanation, I presume is that these days…


Equal family law rights for all couples

Marriage civil partnerships and cohabitation rights

With a new Government in place, albeit one preoccupied with Brexit and unforeseen tragic events, is now the time to put more emphasis on equality in family law? We have marriage and civil partnerships for same sex couples, but what about the rights of cohabiting couples, and the rights of…


What to consider before buying a property with your unmarried partner

Unmarried couples owning property together – the law

As a family lawyer, I am rarely involved at the start of a relationship when all is going well and people are considering moving in together. Instead, my involvement arises at the point the relationship is breaking down or has broken down. For clients who are not married, one of…


4 legal facts all unmarried couples should understand

Unmarried couples lack legal rights

In January of this year, a heterosexual couple lost their court case in which they argued that opposite-sex couples are being subjected to discrimination as, unlike same-sex couples, they do not have the choice to enter into a civil partnership instead of marriage.  At present, same sex couples who wish…


Cohabiting couples should not leave things to chance

Cohabitation agreements

With cohabiting couples being the fastest growing family type in the UK (according to the most recent ONS Families & Households report) as family lawyers we think it’s important that a couple who chooses to live together rather than marry understands the limits of their legal protection in that relationship….


Is there a political appetite for a Cohabitation Act?

Common law myth

One of the key findings of the Families and Households Survey 2015 is that the fastest growing family type in the UK is the cohabiting couple. This now accounts for 3.2 million families. Many of these families will have children and one of the couple (still most often the female)…


The law on cohabitation needs to change

Cohabitation and property

As a family law solicitor I am often in the unfortunate position of having to tell people who’ve lived together for many years that they could be made homeless by their partner and have no opportunity to claim any share of what they have considered to be the family home….


Let’s have marriage and civil partnerships open to all

Marriage and civil partneships

It's a fantastic victory for equality that gay couples now have the right to choose whether to enter a civil partnership or a marriage. And that’s absolutely how it should be. Shame the same can't be said for heterosexual couples. Couples can live together as cohabitees, although the law offers…


Has there really been a “revolution” in cohabitation law?

Readers of the Daily Mail may have been fooled into thinking a recent case changes everything for unmarried couples. That’s not the case, as family lawyer Kate Butler explains. Daily Mail readers may recently have seen the sensational headline “Man ordered to pay £28,500 to his ex-girlfriend after break-up in…


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