Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics released today show the number of the population of England and Wales aged 16 and over who were married in 2017 (51.0%) has remained broadly unchanged since 2010, but has reduced slightly since 2002 (54.8%). So, fewer people are getting married.
From 2002 to 2017, those over the age of 16 and in England and Wales:
- The single, never married population increased by 3.9
- the number of married people only increased by 1.2 million
One in 8 people aged 16 and over in England and Wales in 2017 were cohabiting, continuing a steadily increasing trend since 2002. Previous figures have shown that living together or cohabiting is the fastest growing type of family unit.
The majority (61.4%) of the population aged 16 and over in England and Wales were living in a couple in 2017.
An increasing proportion of 50 to 64-year-olds were single and never married (12.9%), nearly 30% of whom were living as a couple.
What does all this show? It shows that:
- getting married is not as popular as it was
- the number of couples who are living together or cohabiting is growing
- this trend for living together but not marrying is significant still in the age group for 50 to 64 year olds – so those born between 1954 and 1968
The issue is that the law has not caught up. In an earlier blog piece, I wrote about being either married or in civil partnership of not being married. There is no ‘common law’ husband and wife. This is still a common believe that is just not right.
What to do? Well, if you are not married but you are living in a couple, you can have a living together agreement or cohabitation agreement setting out in your lifetime who has what and what will happen if you do decide to separate. This can avoid arguments over whether a house or other asset was ‘meant to be’ shared even though it is in one person’s name only. And you will need a Will to deal with your property and affairs after your death. You may also want to consider powers of attorney for use during your lifetime so that your partner can make decisions for you instead of your family members.
We can help advise and guide you. These bespoke agreements are drawn up specifically tailored to your needs – and once we know what you need, we will offer to do the work for you for a fixed, agreed fee beforehand. Simple.
Contact us if we can help. You might want to discuss your options or maybe you are ready to have an agreement drawn up. We’re here when you need us.