Cohabitation on the increase - Family Law Partners

Cohabitation on the increase

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The latest statistics released by the Office for National Statistics reveals that the number of cohabiting couples has increased by more than 20%.

Despite the seemingly overwhelming number of satellite television programmes dedicated to weddings (‘Don’t tell the Bride anyone’?!) the number of couples who are choosing to live together without getting married is increasing.

According to the figures published by the ONS:

  • In 2013 there were 18.2 million families in the UK. Of these, 12.3 million consisted of a married couple with or without children.
  • The number of opposite sex cohabiting couple families has increased significantly, from 2.2 million in 2003 to 2.9 million in 2013.
  • The number of dependent children living in opposite sex cohabiting couple families rose from 1.4 million to 1.9 million over the same period.

Statistics like these not only change the shape of what the modern family looks like today, but it has an impact on the legal rights of the couples choosing to live together without getting married.

As it currently stands, the law provides little legal protection for cohabiting couples if their relationship should break down. This means that couples should consider taking steps to protect themselves should the relationship end (such as a cohabitation or ‘Living together’ agreement).

Watch this space for an article I’m currently working on which will explore the options for cohabiting couples in more detail.

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