Society has changed radically in so many ways in the past couple of decades and no more so when it comes to the subject of people living together.
There are plenty of people who no doubt recall a time when many a young couple would be petrified at the thought of living together whilst unmarried. This view may seem hard to believe to those in their 20s and 30s, but it is a very strong memory for the older generation and a demonstration of how we live in a much more accepting society now.
However, we at Dale and Newbery like many good lawyers feel somewhat exasperated that the law is often lagging behind on life’s changes and particularly when it comes to cohabitation.
A recent survey has shown that the majority of people in the UK believe that civil partnerships should be more widespread, with survey organisation Populus’s findings, showing 57 per cent of people questioned, believed that all couples should be allowed the right to enter a civil partnership.
At the moment only same-sex couples can either marry or alternatively enter into a civil partnership, but mixed-sex couples can only marry.
This anomaly will ring bells with many of you who may recall that earlier this year the Court of Appeal in England ruled that the status quo cannot continue as couples are being treated differently.
The Government now needs to think about the future of civil partnerships. However, though there are others who think they should be removed completely, leaving marriage as the only option.
Earlier this year London based heterosexual couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, lost their Court of Appeal battle to enter a civil partnership instead of a marriage, it being ruled that they did not meet the legal requirement, because they were not of the same gender.
This is by no means the end of the battle as judges said this was a potential breach of their human rights, and the government should have more time to decide the future of civil partnerships.
Buoyed by this encouraging sign, the couple now intend to appeal to the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land.
Civil partnerships have been a huge boost for same sex couples and it appears that a new legal system where civil partnerships are available for all may soon be on the horizon.
We at Dale and Newbery welcome any developments, which supports the realities of how we wish to live our lives now, rather than be curtailed by out of date legislation.
If you wish to know more about civil partnerships or any other aspect of family law we at Dale and Newbery are here for you.