Cohabitation Awareness Week – 27 Nov to 1 Dec 2017

1st December 2017

The focus of this year’s Resolution Awareness Week is on the inequality of legal rights for cohabitees; couples living together who are not married. There are some 3.3 million cohabiting couples in the UK, but many are still unaware of their lack of rights compared to married couples if they separate.

The family law team at Ansons are committed members of Resolution, an organisation made up of 6,500 family lawyers who take a non-confrontational approach to family law matters.

Each year, Resolution holds an awareness week for a family justice issue that needs attention. Following last year’s success in promoting no fault divorce, this year’s campaign on lack of cohabitation rights aims to highlight the issue in the national media and spark a call for it to be raised in Parliament by engaging local MPs.

“It has long been Resolution’s view that cohabiting couples deserve some basic rights to protect them should the relationship end. As the fastest growing family type in the UK, the need for modernising this aspect of family law increases every day. In the meantime, however, cohabiting couples need advice on how the law currently works and how they can make arrangements to avoid complex disputes if the relationship breaks down,” says Nigel Shepherd, National Chair of Resolution.

At Ansons, we have long been aware of the difficulties faced by cohabitees on separation and can advise you in your rights if you are in this situation. If you are living with your partner and not married, there are a number of ways you can protect yourself:

  • making a cohabitation agreement – a contract where you agree how you want your assets to be divided if you separate;
  • making a will – unlike married couples, cohabiting couples do not automatically inherit from each other; and
  • making a declaration of trust – to clarify your interest in property.

For more information you might like to read our article:

I am not married to my partner – what are my rights if we split up?

Our legal professionals can offer expert advice and assist you through all aspects of family law. For advice on making a cohabitation agreement or if you are separating from your partner contact Mark Buttery on 01543 431 939 or email


This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please note that the law may have changed since the date this article was published. You should always take legal advice relating to your individual circumstances.