“Given the trend of declining rates of marriage, an increase in the age of those getting married and a rise in cohabitation, the WEC is absolutely right to be urging the Government to do more to address the lack of protection for cohabitees and not to put this issue to the back of the queue.
“A review of the Matrimonial Causes Act and how finances are divided between separating spouses on divorce is, the Government has said, to take priority but if marriage is increasingly out of fashion, then this is not providing solutions to those families with arguably the greatest need.
“Cohabitants have limited rights on relationship breakdown resulting in stark and often unfair outcomes for the individuals affected and their children, particularly when compared to the protection which would have been afforded to them had they been married. The Government has repeatedly failed to extend legal protection in this area but there is overwhelming evidence to suggest this should be a priority.
“The WEC is right to highlight that progression is being side-lined with no sense of urgency or resolve.”