Marriage falling in popularity among the younger generation

Young, unmarried couples who live together in the UK are continuously being urged to consider the importance of cohabitation agreements amid concerns that marriage is falling in popularity among the younger generation.

The calls come after a recent survey revealed that some 72 per cent of ‘millennials’ would prefer to cohabit with their long-term partner than ‘rush into’ a marriage – compared to just 63 per cent of ‘baby-boomers’ who felt the same way.

The research, which was recently published in Business Insider magazine, echoes previous findings published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last year, which revealed that there were 3.3 million cohabiting couples living in the UK in November.

At the time, the ONS remarked that cohabitation was “the UK’s fastest-growing family type” – and the figures cited in Business Insider appear to suggest that this trend will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

With this in mind, family law foundation Resolution and other experts continue to call on the younger generation to consider the importance of cohabitation agreements – which can determine what will happen to any property, finances or otherwise in the event that a cohabiting couple decides to split up.

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as the ‘common-law marriage’ myth in England and Wales – which means that unmarried couples have very limited legal rights if they break up.

This can prove to be particularly problematic in instances where the couple has bought a house together, or has children together – which is why it is wise for couples to seek specialist legal advice to ensure their best interests are protected.

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell Turner Garrett in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.