Christchurch Solicitor Raises Awareness for Common-Law Marriage Myth Ahead of Most Popular Day for Marriages

With 90% of unmarried couples surprised to find out about their lack of rights, Emma Hamilton Cole from Williams Thompson Solicitors LLP in Christchurch is raising awareness for the common law marriage myth.

Saturday 18th August has been identified as the most common day in 2018 to tie the knot in the UK. However, since the early 1970s, the number of people actually getting married has steadily decreased, dropping a further 3.4% last year. With fewer people choosing to formalise their relationship, increasingly separating couples fall foul of the ‘common law marriage’ myth and discover a lack of financial claims available for example in relation to pensions and income.

Giving local people a greater understanding of the law, Emma Hamilton Cole Family Solicitor and Head of Family Law at Williams Thompson Solicitors in Christchurch, is campaigning to raise awareness og the Common Law Marriage Myth. She is also encouraging unmarried and cohabiting couples to take steps to protect themselves and their families.

Emma Hamilton Cole, said:

“If an unmarried couple breaks up, they would not necessarily be entitled to share in (what they thought were their) joint assets, such as a house they may have made significant financial contributions to, if they aren’t named as an owner on the deed. This is the same regardless of how long they have been together or whether they have children.”

In 2016 there were 3.3m cohabiting couples or around 6.6million cohabiting adults. This is officially the fastest growing family type, more than doubling from 1.5million couples just 20 years ago. However, only one couple in three knows there is no such thing as Common Law Marriage.

Emma, continues:

 “Couples need to know that they are not given rights through common law marriage, so they must take appropriate actions to protect themselves. For example, signing a cohabitation agreement. This is an easy and cost-effective way to get financial peace of mind without getting married or forming a civil partnership.”

Based on Bridge Street in Christchurch, Williams Thompson is home to two Family Law Solicitors, Emma Hamilton Cole and Charlotte Millard. Both are trained Mediators and members of Resolution, a 6500 strong group of Family Law professionals. Using their experience they can help unmarried couples understand what claims may or may not be available to them following separation.

To find out more or to contact Williams Thompson Solicitors visit: