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Over 15,000 Same-Sex Marriages Since Law Change

More than 15,000 same-sex marriages have taken place in England and Wales since the law was changed according to official figures.

Statistics from the Office for National Statistics revealed that a total of 15,098 couples had legally married since 2014. Of the 15,098 couple that had married, 7,366 were marriages while 7,732 accounted for conversions from civil partnerships. 55% of the marriages were between two females with 45% being between male couples.

The number of partners wishing to obtain a civil partnership fell by 70% between 2013 and 2014. Same-sex marriage in England became legal at the end of March in 2014.

Are Civil Partnerships Still Relevant?

With civil partnerships being common amongst members of the same sex and gay marriage now legal in all but Northern Ireland in the UK, many have begun to question the importance of civil partnerships and whether or not they are still needed. However, they do have a key part to play for many people living in the UK.

A study conducted this year found that cohabitation was fast becoming one of the most common ways to live in the UK with many people opting to live together but not get married. According to data from the ONS, cohabiting couple families grew by 29.7% between 2004 and 2014. This officially makes cohabiting the fastest growing type of family in the UK. It was also revealed that there were nearly 3.0 million opposite sex cohabiting couple families and 84,000 same sex cohabiting couple families in the UK in 2014.

Although the law protects assets upon marriage or in a civil partnership, it does not if people are cohabiting. Often wills are contested as people believe that they are naturally passed to who they cohabit with. However, this is simply not the case. Indeed, 51% of respondents to the British Social Attitudes Survey in 2008 thought that unmarried couples who live together for some time probably or had a 'common law marriage' that gives them the same legal rights as married couples.

While many people believe civil partnerships are dated, such agreements can provide protection from tax, employment benefits, pensions, child maintenance, parental responsibility for civil partner's children and much more. Many people believe that such an agreement is needless and irrelevant. However, a civil partnership is very similar to a prenuptial agreement and enables both parties to ensure they state clearly how their assets should be divided in the event that their relationship does come to an end or that their arrangement ends.

Contact Us

If you require legal advice regarding a civil partnership or legal representation for any legal matter, contact our team of family solicitors using our online contact form. Our team specialise in a number of family law matters and can give you the best advice and representation in your area.

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