58% of UK citizens do not know 'common law marriage' is not a recognised legal status.

Married, civil partnered, or not – the legal differences

Many people mistakenly believe that simply living together, can give you the same rights as marriage. Others believe that by having a child together they acquire legal rights, whether married, civil partnered, or not.

They are mistaken.

Only couples who get married or register a civil partnership will acquire legal rights and responsibilities in relation to each other.

Whether you are married, civil partnered, or not, on these pages you will find the facts you need to explore the tricky issues.


What people are saying

We pretty much thought of ourselves as married, we just never got around to doing it. I didn't realise it would make such a difference to our rights.Fiona, Dorset