New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) demonstrate for need for legal change, Resolution has claimed.
Close to ten per cent of the adult population now live together without getting married, the ONS bulletin reveals – an increase of nearly three percentage points since 2002.
Resolution represents lawyers committed to a “non-confrontational” approach to family law. A spokesman repeated earlier calls for the introduction of limited legal protections for cohabitating couples, who often do not realise that the status of “common law” spouses has no legal status. The new figures should alert politicians to the urgency of the issue, he insisted.
“These statistics should be regarded by policymakers as a wake-up call that cohabitation is a trend of modern society that is not going to go away. As family lawyers who see the damage caused by the lack of protection for cohabiting couples when they separate, Resolution calls for the urgent introduction of safety net legislation providing legal protection and fair outcomes at the time of a couple’s separation.”
Children and mothers were especially vulnerable, he added. Reform of cohabitation law should be a priority for newly appointed Justice Secretary Liz Truss, the spokesman suggested.