Next week is National Cohabitation Week. The purpose of this week is to raise the awareness of the rights and the difficulties surrounding couples that decide to simply cohabit rather than marry.

Statistics (from the Office for National Statistics 2015) show that in England there are 2,779,800 cohabiting couples and a further 150,000 in Wales. The table below sets out some interesting figures which are helpfully broken down geographically across the country:

Research undertaken by Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers, have reported that only 1 in 5 family lawyers have reported preparing cohabitation agreements on a regular basis for cohabiting couples, but 98% of lawyers reported having worked with a cohabitee couple who they were unable to help due to lack of legal protection. 33% of those that took part in the survey had noted an increase in the number of cases involving cohabiting couples since last year.

What we can gain from this is that cohabitees represent a significant proportion of the couples in this country, and yet regrettably, they are afforded very little protection on a relationship breakdown.