Two-thirds of co-habiting couples wrongly believe that “common-law marriage” laws exist
Resolution, a leading family law organisation, has warned that co-habiting couples could be unaware of their rights if their relationship were to break down.
As the number of unmarried couples living together has doubled over the last twenty years, the law has not kept up with the changes in society.
For example, if a co-habiting partner dies without leaving a will, the surviving partner will not automatically inherit their estate (with the exception of jointly owned property). In contrast, a married partner would automatically inherit all or some of the estate of their deceased spouse.
Read more about the legal differences between co-habiting and marriage on the BBC News website here.