29 November 2017

Unmarried couples risk losing everything if the relationship breaks down

The head of Hayes + Storr family department, Rob Colwell has called on unmarried couples across Norfolk to take action to protect themselves, as they could be vulnerable if their relationship breaks down.

Rob made the calls as part of National Cohabitation Awareness Week (27th Nov – 1st Dec) that is being led by Resolution, an organisation who campaign for a fairer family justice system.
Cohabitation Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about the lack of rights that exist for unmarried couples who live together.

There are about 7 million people in the UK who cohabit, making this the fastest growing family type in the country. Many couples mistakenly believe that they acquire “common law” rights after living with their partner for a certain amount of time or having children together.

Rob explains that “The sad reality is that unmarried couples have very limited legal rights and responsibilities towards each other if the relationship breaks down. I regularly meet people who have been affected in this way, and because of the lack of legal protection, there are times when I simply can’t help them. This is why I urge all cohabiting couples across Norfolk to consider taking out basic protections, such as a cohabitation agreement to protect both partners if they separate, or think about life insurance. By setting out your intentions in these documents, you’ll be in a much better situation if the unexpected happens.” Rob added that Resolution had made resources available, both to the public and also local advice providers, such as mortgage advisers, to help spread the word to cohabiting couples they work with.

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