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Campaigning for cohabitation reform: Resolution’s Vision for Family Justice


Celebrating Resolution’s 40th anniversary, this year's Awareness week launches its Vision for Family Justice - setting out policy proposals for changes needed to improve Family Justice, focusing on cohabitation.

So, here we are on 1st December 2023. Christmas preparations are upon us and it would seem that this year, Christmas has started a lot earlier, many having had their Christmas trees up since mid-November!

With the awful things that are going on around the world including the cost-of-living crisis that impacts all of us, it’s not surprising that people want to have some joy and celebrate whatever they can, as soon as they can.

This year, it is Resolution’s 40th anniversary with lots of celebrations having already taken place during the year, but Resolution has finished off those celebrations with its annual Awareness Week to launch Resolution’s vision for Family Justice. This vision sets out Resolution’s policy proposals for the changes that are needing to be made to improve Family Justice in England and Wales.

In previous years, this week has been called ‘Good Divorce Week’ but this has been changed for this year, the main focus of the policy proposals campaigning for cohabitation reform.

Our Family team at Steele Raymond are 100% behind Resolution’s policy proposals for cohabitation reform, having noticed an increase in enquiries from former cohabitees, seeking advice and guidance as to their positions moving forward following a separation.

There are currently 3.6 million cohabiting couples in the UK, a 144% increase over a period of 25 years and now accounting for 1 in 5 families. Resolution carried out a poll for Awareness week, the results of which showed that only 35% of the public are aware that cohabitees have little or no rights!

Quite rightly, a lot of firms have been posting various blogs and articles this week to help raise awareness of the lack of rights for cohabitees and the vital legal protection that cohabitees must be considering.  We have also considered doing the same, promoting the fact that I am a Resolution Accredited Specialist in the area of cohabitation and Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (TLATA). However, as a team, we decided against that and instead have taken steps to work towards making a difference on the ground.

Last week, we hosted a breakfast seminar for local Residential Agents with talks from colleagues in the Residential Property, Property Litigation and Wills, Trusts & Probate teams, with a grand finale from the Family team. Our topic on cohabitation couples and how to provide their finances with as much legal protection as possible was particularly relevant given the family team are championing Resolution Awareness Week.

As a family team at Steele Raymond, we; Dan Sanders, Lindsay HalliwellAmy Baugh and I have also written to our local MP, Conor Burns, inviting him to meet with us to discuss the vision for Family Justice to explain more about the changes that we would like to see to the family law arena as well as educating him as to the support that we can offer to separating couples, who may make contact with him seeking help. We are hopeful that Conor Burns will respond shortly and so watch this space for updates!

If you have any questions about cohabiting couples or would like to discuss further, please do get in touch with one of the team.


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