Labour proposes reform to Cohabitation Laws (Today’s Family Lawyer)

18 October 2023

Today's Family Lawyer have written on MP Emily Thornberry's proposal to reform the UK's cohabitation laws to provide better protection to couples in this fastest-growing family type. 

The reforms would give women increased rights to financial support in case of a break up, while bringing cohabiting couples the same protections available to married couples.

Wilsons' Head of Family, Natasha Grande, has been featured in the article commenting: "Labour’s focus seems to have an unhelpful bias. Men and women suffer from the lack of reform of cohabitation rights. Unmarried couples are the fastest growing type of family unit and nearly half of them believe in common law marriage."

"Cohabitees have no automatic right to inherit each other’s properties, pension in event of death, or rights to each other’s income. Property disputes are dealt with in accordance with land law or trust law."

There are 3.6 million cohabiting couples in the UK, and this number is only growing. Many of these couples have false expectations of protection due to a 'common law marriage' that does not exist - leaving them vulnerable if one partner dies or their relationship ends without a will.

Read the full article here

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