A family law group has warned that Warrington and Cheshire’s unmarried couples who live together could incorrectly believe common-law marriage exists.
A survey carried out by Resolution found that 66 per cent of cohabiting couples are unaware of their rights in the event the relationship ends, and this can lead to consequences when dividing up the finances.
Danny Hudson, partner and member of the family department at Watsons Solicitors, said: “The number of unmarried couples who live together has increased from 1.5 million to 3.3 million in 21 years. Despite this significant growth, the laws have not kept pace with this change in society.
“This research highlights that the government needs to act immediately to protect people in such a situation.
“For example, it’s estimated that 66 per cent of people don’t have wills in Warrington. If a death occurs and that person hasn’t left a will, his or her unmarried partner will not automatically inherit anything, unless they jointly own property. However, a married partner would inherit all or some of the estate.
“Another common scenario is when one of the partners stays at home to care for children. If the relationship breaks down, they may not be entitled to make any claims for property, maintenance or pension sharing.
“We would urge any cohabiting couple to review their rights by speaking to a local family law firm.”
Danny specialises in all types of family law including divorce and is a member of the Law Society Family Law Panel. Watsons Solicitors’ family department also backed calls to reform out-dated divorce laws.
Watsons Solicitors, which has been established for more than 50 years, specialises in family law, employment law, and conveyancing.
The team of experienced solicitors each hold various accreditations and memberships of professional bodies relevant to their expertise, while the firm’s partners oversee all areas of work.
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