Financial & Legal News

Cohabiting? Do You Know Your Legal Rights?

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27 November - 1 December 2017 is national Cohabitation Awareness Week and Pearson Solicitors are highlighting the need for unmarried couples to seek legal advice to safeguard themselves should their relationships break down.

According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), there are approximately 3.3 million cohabiting couples in the UK and this figure is rising rapidly. Pearson are proud to support Resolution with their campaign to raise awareness and their continued goal for greater legal protection.

Many unmarried couples are unaware of their lack of rights and many believe they are protected by "common law marriage". However, this is a myth as there is no such thing as "common law marriage". 

Under current law, it is possible to live with someone for decades, even to have children together, and then just walk away without taking any responsibility for their partner. The result of this can lead to financial hardship and emotional stress for women and their children, in particular where the mother has given up her job or reduced her working days to raise a family.

Lucinda McWatt, a Solicitor in the Family Department at Pearson, commented, "it is a very sad reality that unmarried couples living in the UK mistakenly believe they are legally covered should their relationship break down. I urge cohabiting couples to seek legal advice and take out a Cohabitation Agreement to protect both partners should they separate".

Are you currently cohabiting and need some legal advice? Please don't hesitate to contact one of our specialist Family Law Solicitors who are all members of Resolution, which is an organisation that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. All members encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of the children.

Call 0161 785 3500 or email




Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Lucinda McWatt


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