I agree with Nigel Shepherd that greater legal rights for cohabiting couples are required.
In England and Wales there is still a misconception that a so-called “common law marriage” exists i.e. that if you cohabit with your partner then you have similar legal rights and protection afforded to married couples.
This is not the case and actually cohabiting couples are afforded very limited legal protection. Unfortunately the law has yet to change to reflect modern society.
Nigel Shepherd, who has worked as a family solicitor since 1981 believes two changes would greatly improve outcomes for poorer households going through family breakdown: no-fault divorce and greater legal rights for cohabiting couples.