Not so many moons ago, it was the norm that couples didn’t live together, or share the same bed, until they were married. However, in November 2017, the Office of National Statistics released its Families and Households in the UK 2017 report which stated that the number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million in 2017. This figure is set for a further dramatic rise in 2018, and is the fastest growing family-type in the UK.
It is very important that, when living with your partner, you have a full awareness of the difference between your rights as a cohabitee and your rights as a spouse. Many are under the misconception that ‘common law marriages’ exist, and understandably seeing as many insurance and utility companies let you select this term from a drop down list when setting up your new home, according to Rebecca Ranson, a solicitor at Maguire Law Firm.
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