Local Hampshire family lawyer calls on unmarried couples to take action to protect themselves, as they could be vulnerable if the relationship breaks down.
Associate Leesa Longden-Thurgood, part of the Churchers Solicitors Family team, makes the announcement as part of a national Cohabitation Awareness Week that is being led by Resolution, who campaign for a fairer family justice system. Cohabitation Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about the lack of rights that exist for unmarried couples who live together.
There are about 7 million people in the UK living in this type of relationship, making this the fastest growing family type in the country.
Ms Longden-Thurgood explains that most couples she represents mistakenly believe that they acquire “common law” rights after living with their partner for a certain amount of time or having children together.
Ms Longden-Thurgood says:
“The sad reality is that unmarried couples have very limited legal rights and responsibilities towards each other if the relationship breaks down. I regularly meet people who have been affected in this way, and because of the lack of legal protection, there are times when I simply cannot help them. This is why I urge all cohabiting couples to consider taking out basic protections, such as a cohabitation agreement to protect both partners if they separate, or think about life insurance. By setting out your intentions in these documents, you will be in a much better situation if the unexpected happens.”
Ms Longden-Thurgood adds that Resolution has made resources available, both to the public but also local advice providers, such as mortgage advisers, to help them spread the word to cohabiting couples they work with.
If you require advice on any family matter, please contact Leesa on (023) 9282 0747.