Cohabitation is the fastest growing family type in the UK

By Lenore Rice

The number of people cohabiting in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK has increased by 25.8% in the last 10 years according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.

It means that cohabiting is now the fastest growing family type in the UK. Married and civil partnership couples still represent around two-thirds of families in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK but they are both in decline. Cohabiting couples represent approximately 18% of all families with around 3.4million cohabiting households.

While cohabitation has been increasing steadily in recent years, awareness of the legal rights, or rather the lack of them is still poor. Many people still hold on to the myth of the “common law marriage” and are unaware that they are afforded little protection in the event of a death without a Will being in place, and when it comes to assets division and financial support in the event of a separation. Writing a Will and a cohabitation agreement can help couples achieve similar legal protection to that enjoyed by married couples by virtue of their marital status.

To read more about legal rights in respect of Wills and cohabitation click here.

To get in touch with a will writing solicitor in our Belfast or Bangor office click here.

To speak with a family law solicitor in respect of a cohabitation agreement click here.