The government says there are more than 3.3 million unmarried couples in the UK who live together with shared financial responsibilities – nearly half of them with children. But these households do not have the same legal protections as those who have a civil partnership or marriage.

Since 2004 same-sex couples have been able to enter into a civil partnership under The Civil Partnership Act 2004, which provides similar legal and financial protection in case the relationship ends as provided by marriage.

The Prime Minister has announced that all couples in England and Wales, including mixed-sex couples, will be able to choose to have a civil partnership rather than marriage.

The move will provide greater security for unmarried couples and their families, the government says. And it will address the “imbalance” that allows same-sex couples to enter a civil partnership or marry – a choice denied to mixed-sex couples.

For more information please contact our Family department.