Other legal differences
Your rights and responsibilities vary depending on the type of relationship you are in
Many people (40% according to a recent survey*) mistakenly believe that simply living together can give you the same rights as marriage. They believe that ‘common-law marriage’ is a recognised legal status. They are wrong.
Others believe that by having a child together they acquire legal rights**, whether married, civil partnered, or not. They too are mistaken.
Only couples who get married or register a civil partnership will acquire legal rights and responsibilities in relation to each other.
We often don’t check out our rights because it seems unromantic, or even untrusting, to raise legal and financial issues about a relationship. But exploring the common “what ifs …” before difficulties arise, puts couples and families on a more secure footing.
Whether you are married, civil partnered, or not, on these pages you will find the facts you need to explore the tricky issues.
If you would like to work on your relationship with your partner, whether you’re married or not, you might like to visit theCoupleConnection.net. The site provides information on relationships as well as social networking, tools and exercises to help you understand your relationship and make things better.
*Based on a survey commissioned by OnePlusOne and conducted by Opinium Research using an online survey of 2,016 UK adults aged 18+ from 1st to 4th of February 2013. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
**In a recent study, OnePlusOne sought to find out what unmarried parents know about their legal rights and examined the impact of providing legal information on knowledge and behaviour.