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Hunters Law
19th May 2023

Urgent need for cohabitation law reform

Urgent need for cohabitation law reform
Eri Horrocks
Eri Horrocks
Senior Associate

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are 3.6 million opposite-sex cohabitees, compared to 2.9 million in 2012. 

Increasing numbers of couples are cohabiting (potentially some for many years) without knowing that the laws governing what happens upon the breakdown of their relationship are not the same as those for married couples. 

At the moment, cohabitation generally works more favourably for those who are the financially stronger party in the relationship. Those who are financially weaker, and those who have taken on caring responsibilities for children, are left in a difficult position when looking at their long-term future. 

Cohabitation law reform is something that family lawyers have been campaigning the government to look at for some time, and the statistics in this Times article only serve to highlight the need for this to be looked at urgently.