‘Urgent reform’ needed to support cohabiting couples

The laws governing cohabitation in England and Wales are outdated and in need of urgent reform, a prominent family law foundation has said.

Last week, all eyes were on the Supreme Court as Mr Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld fought their case for opening up civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.

In an historic move, the Court ruled that the existing ban on heterosexual civil partnerships in the UK was ‘discriminatory’ – and that the duo’s rights had been breached.

The news has put extreme pressure on the Government to allow heterosexual couples to enter into such unions in the very near future.

However, in the wake of the landmark decision, a number of family law experts are warning that this is not the only incredibly contentious area of the law where ‘urgent reform’ is needed.

Specifically, family law foundation Resolution has said that Parliament needs to concentrate on introducing “specific family law remedies” to protect the UK’s “vulnerable” 3.3 million cohabiting couples, a report in the Law Gazette reveals.

Resolution has previously warned that individuals who are not married or in a civil partnership have “very little legal protection” in the event of a breakup.

Due to this, such individuals are advised to seek specialist legal advice in order to explore other ways of protecting their best interests, such as by drawing up a cohabitation agreement.