Could Cohabitation Rights Solve the Issue of Unregistered Religious Marriages? – By Russell Sandberg

Credit: Russell Sandberg

In my new book, Religion and Marriage Law: The Need for Reform, I argue that the law relating to marriage in England and Wales is outdated and leads to unfairness. There are now several forms of relationship that exist outside the legal framework. Three (overlapping) forms of relationship are now commonplace and exist the shadow of the formal law on intimate adult relationship:

The first and most common relationship type outside the legal framework are cohabiting partners. Office of National Statistics figures from 2013 show that the proportion of non-married women aged 18 to 49 who were cohabiting increased from one in ten in 1979 to over a third in 2011.