Government largely rejects automatic rights for cohabiting couples

In response to a report from the Women and Equalities Committee on rights for cohabiting couples – to which we submitted evidence last year – the government has largely rejected their proposals. Two of the six proposals were ‘partially accepted’: the first relating to awareness of the legal distinctions between marriage, civil partnership and cohabitation; […]

The lazy thinking behind new proposals to give marriage-like rights to cohabiting couples

This month the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee published proposals to give rights to unmarried cohabiting couples that are similar or equal to those accruing to married couples. Although this seems fair and reasonable on the face of it, the proposals risk undermining commitment, family stability and children’s well-being.  The state regulates marriage […]

Should cohabiting couples have the same rights as married couples?

I’ve written about this subject before. But having just been to parliament to give evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee, it’s worth going over the story again because to many it will be counterintuitive. (You can watch my contribution to the committee here, from about 15:08) The problem in question is that many cohabiting […]

Should cohabiting couples have similar legal rights to married couples?

Submission to the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into the rights of cohabiting partners Sir Paul Coleridge and Harry Benson, Marriage Foundation, July 2021 Marriage Foundation is an independent charity set up in 2012 to champion marriage and commitment. We work with top academics to discern and analyse family trends in UK household survey data […]

Why couples should get married

Everybody wants reliable love. Adults want it. Children want it. So it’s in everybody’s interests to find out what gives us our best chance of achieving this. According to commitment theory, there are two forces or bonds that keep couples together. DEDICATION is the internal bond between two people representing their new identity as a […]

Different pages: Unmarried parents in lockdown

Most cohabiting dads did pretty well during lockdown. Many of their partners did not.  One of the more striking findings from our analysis of relationships during lockdown is the way unmarried mums and dads appear to have experienced it very differently. My colleague Professor Steve McKay and I compared what 386 cohabiting parents said about […]

Should you live together before you get married?

(Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay) Fiona Wade, an actress from the TV soap Emmerdale, got married last week. Nothing remarkable about that, except that she and her husband have chosen not to live together before getting married. The very fact that the media noticed this – and I did a series of BBC interviews about it […]

Why cohabiting couples should not get the same rights as married couples

(photo credit BBC) It’s a situation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. After 23 years and four children together, Siobhan McLaughlin’s partner died leaving her to cope on her own. I’ve been married for over 32 years and can’t imagine the awfulness of losing the person who is closest to me. So I have a great […]