The answer from a recent study undertaken in Denmark is that if you want your relationship to endure, choose a librarian or a farmer. People in these occupations were found to be the best bet when it comes to staying together. On the other hand, the research showed that chefs and others in the hospitality industry were the worst offenders when it came to relationship breakdown. The researchers did not attempt to explain the findings but we can all speculate as to why this might be. What there is no need to speculate about is the need for good legal advice when a relationship breaks down.

Whatever the occupation of the spouses, divorce rates for the over 50’s have doubled since 1990.  The figures for the UK show that in 2018, 42% of all marriages ended in divorce. That is not the whole story. Since the 1970’s, the number of marriages has almost halved. More and more couples are choosing to live together and bring up their children without marrying. Sadly, some of these relationships won’t last the course. What is perhaps even sadder is that nearly half of the British public still believe in the myth of the common law marriage.

Despite the cohabitation revolution, far too many people assume that if they have been living in a committed relationship, they will somehow be viewed in the same way as a married couple should the relationship breakdown.  That can be a very expensive mistake. If your name is not on the deeds, you will not acquire any automatic rights to the home you share. If there are children, only the mother has parental responsibility unless the father is actually named on the birth certificate. You will not be entitled to maintenance for yourself nor to an automatic share in your former partner’s pension.  If your partner dies, cohabitation does not entitle you to inherit unless you are named as a beneficiary in the will. That can have potentially disastrous consequences for the surviving “common law” spouse.

Whether cohabiting or married, good legal advice is essential. Scott Bailey have a team of highly experienced lawyers who can advise on the best way forward to protect your interests. Contact Sarah Unsworth or Ann Herd on 01590 676933 or email [email protected]