Lawyers Say Cohabitation Figures Show Need For Law Reform

Official Statistics Show Rise In Couples Living Together Outside Marriage

24.06.2014

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Specialist family lawyers say the latest statistics which show a significant rise in cohabitation over the past decade highlight the need for reforms to the way the law deals with couples living together outside marriage.

The Office National Statistics has analysed the 2001 and 2011 Census data finding an increase in cohabitating couples from 14% to 17% of households in the UK. In comparison the number of households with married couples fell from 70% to 65%.

It is understood that there are around 6m people cohabiting in the UK at present and law firm Irwin Mitchell believes current family laws must be updated to keep pace with modern society and deal with the issues facing cohabiting couples.

Alison Hawes, an expert family and divorce lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, which has offices across the country, said:

The first reading of a proposed Cohabitation Rights Bill took place in October last year then again in June this year to signal the start of the Bill's journey through the House of Lords, however a second reading to debate all aspects of the Bill is yet to be scheduled.

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