Family law organisation Resolution has called for legislation to provide a “safety net” for cohabiting couples.
The group responded to recently published figures from the Office for National statistics which revealed that cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK. There are roughly 3.2 million of such couples in the country this year. This represents 17 per cent of all families.
Resolution claimed that this figure is evidence that British law needs to catch up the reality of modern life and families. The organisation’s spokesman on cohabitation law Graeme Fraser said that under current law, it is possible to “simply walk away without taking any responsibility for a former partner” once a relationship comes to an end, even if the couple lived together for decades and had children.
The impact this can have on women and children is huge, he claimed, “particularly in cases where a mother has given up or reduced her work to raise a family”.
Resolution called for “the urgent introduction of safety net legislation” to protect cohabiting couples and ensure “fair outcomes” for each of them when they break up. Fraser said that such legislation should focus on “children and mothers left vulnerable under the existing law”.
Last year, the organisation made a similar call for a cohabitation law following statements by senior judges Sir James Munby and Mr Justice Mostyn in support of such a move. Earlier this year, Resolution published their ‘Manifesto for Family Law’ which talked about the need for such legislation.
You can read the Manifesto in full here.