Cohabitation Awareness: do you know your rights?
We’ve recently talked about how, emotionally at least, young people are now feeling more secure about moving in together without being married first.
But are cohabiting couples secure legally? The short answer… no.
It’s a commonly believed myth that unmarried couples have the same legal protection as married couples. It’s not true. So if things don’t work out in the relationship and it breaks down, everything that couples own will become contested. There’s no legal and fair process of dividing assets.
If you’re reading this and wondering what ‘common law’ is, you’re not alone. More than half of the population are unaware of it, and some believe they are covered by it when they’re not .
This lack of legal protection affects around 5.9 million people living with their unmarried partners in the UK. A new service called Cohabitation Awareness aims to educate these 5.9 million people about their legal rights and tackle the misunderstandings around common law. They’ve also got a whole bunch of interesting information on social trends and research findings around the impact of cohabitation on relationships. You can visit their website here.
 British Social Attitudes Survey in 2008