Newark Marketplace

Newark MP backs stronger legal protection for cohabiting couples

Robert Jenrick MP for NewarkI’m delighted to say that Newark MP, Robert Jenrick has decided to back my calls for stronger legal protection for cohabiting couples

For Cohabitation Awareness Week, I’ve been raising awareness of the bizarre situation faced by the 250,000 unmarried couples who live together in the East Midlands.

Despite almost half of these couples having children, planning to spend the rest of their lives together, and despite many of them believing that they have some of the same rights as married couples, they might as well be strangers in the eyes of the law.

During my campaign, I wrote to Robert Jenrick to tell him about this situation, and I’m pleased that he has given it his support:

“As an MP I have had countless conversations with my constituents about living arrangements and the law, and the most pressing concern has been the question of legal certainty. I remember a couple of years ago I had a conversation with two elderly sisters living together, who were concerned that it was unclear what would happen to their home if one of them were to pass away.

When a couple is married it is clear which rights are extended to who, but when individuals live together there is a distinct lack of clarity. As a former lawyer this is something that I believe matters profoundly. The Law needs to take into account the changing face of society, in a decade where fewer people are getting married than ever before, whilst also not doing anything to undermine marriage as an institution.”

As chair of Resolution Nottingham, I’m proud to be campaigning for the law to change alongside 1,600 other family lawyers around the country.

You can read more about why I believe that cohabiting couples need to be better protected on my previous blog post.

Wendy.

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