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Unmarried couples

Call from Resolution for more rights for unmarried couples

Unmarried Couples

Call from Resolution for more rights for unmarried couples

Resolution, the umbrella organisation of family practitioners, has issued new research which they say highlights the need for an overwhelming change in the current law relating to unmarried couples. The new research comprised a nationwide poll carried out by Whitestone Insight on behalf of Resolution brought to the forefront the striking point that one in three cohabitees fear they would be made homeless or forced to rely on benefits if their relationship ended. The research also found that around half (47%) of cohabitees are unaware that they lack rights should their relationship end, 74% of cohabitees agree that ‘the current laws surrounding cohabitation are unfit for today’s modern society’ and 59% of people polled feel there should be better legal protections for cohabiting people.

The research also polled members of Resolution, the umbrella organisation for family practitioners and those professionals who work with separating couples of a daily basis.  Of the members of Resolution who were part of the poll, 75% said they would support a change in the law to provide basic rights to cohabiting couples. Most said they deal with cases involving cohabiting couples at least once a month and one in ten deal with a new case every week. Just 14% of Resolution members said they often work with clients to prepare cohabitation agreements

Reform of cohabitation law is forming the centrepiece of Resolution’s vision for family justice as the organisation marks its 40th anniversary. At the moment, if an unmarried couple were to separate they do not have the same rights to claim a share of their partner’s pension or ongoing income support. Their claims are limited to jointly owned assets and even then they may have a hard time to establishing a right to the share of the equity in those capital assets. The situation is slightly different if there are minor children involved born out of the relationship but even then claims are limited to providing for the needs of the minor children, with any settled property being returned to the other party once the children are no longer minors.

Contact our family law team in Ipswich on 01473 213311 or our family law team in Colchester on 01206 584584 for more information, alternatively you can email [email protected] or visit our website and click “Call Me Back” and a member of family law team at Kerseys Solicitors will be happy to contact you.

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