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Overreaching itself?

Will the law ever be able to reflect the wishes and intentions of people who have chosen a cohabiting relationship over statutory alternatives?

29 May 2015

The number of people in cohabiting relationships doubled between 1996 and 2012, making cohabitation the 'fastest growing family type in the UK'. With more and more people choosing to cohabit without getting married, there comes an equally pressing requirement for family law to keep pace and reflect this societal shift.

The troubling urban myth of 'common law marriage' still prevails, with statistics indicating that nearly 60 per cent of people in the UK wrongly believe that couples who live together for a certain amount of time, are afforded the same legal rights as if they were married.

The recent case of Graham-York v York [2015] EWCA CIV 72 reinforced the principle that where property is held in a cohabitant's sole name, and there is no evidence of a common intention to split the beneficial interest, there is no presumption of a 50/50 entitlement on relationshi...

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