24 February 2011
Unmarried Couples To Have Same Rights As Married Couples?
Family Lawyer Kirsten Grotte talks about unmarried couples' rights. According to Family Law Newswatch, the President of the Family Division, Sir Nicholas Wall, has recently announced that all unmarried couples should have rights to a share of property should they separate.
Basically implying that unmarried couples should have the same rights as those that are married.According to recent statistics there are over two million cohabiting couples in the UK, who are not married. It has been suggested that by 2021 this number is expected to rise to nearly 3 million. This has long been a topic for discussion, but the law has remained rigid in this area for un-married couples and it will be interesting to see whether there will be any radical changes in the near future.
With cohabiting couples, there is a frequent misconception that they believe they are “common law” husband and wife. They believe that they have the same rights on a relationship breakdown as a married couple. This is not the case, especially in relation to rights to property, pensions and maintenance. This will be a very interesting area to keep an eye on as there are perhaps people out there who purposely do not choose to marry their partner, because they wish to protect their assets in the event of a possible separation.
This therefore leaves vulnerable cohabitees, if their financial position is not as strong as their partners.
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