Written evidence from Mr David Blundell [HAB0287]
As a married man of 46 years, I wish to say that it is wrong to give cohabiting adults, who have taken no steps to formalise their commitment to each other either by marriage or civil ceremony, legal rights as if they had.
It is a fact that parental separation is much more common among those who cohabit than those who have shown commitment in some way to each other. I understand that statistics show that more than half of children of cohabiting parents will experience their parents’ separation by the age of 5, whereas for married parents the number is only 15%.
There is no need to create yet another relationship status as those in a stable relationship are able to readily gain such rights through a choice of ceremonies that give full legal rights as a couple.
Indeed, it would be very hard to define such a relationship. Should a couple who lived together for 2 weeks have the same rights in law as those who have committed to each other in marriage. Such a new legal relationship would further undermine marriage and the benefits it brings to society. In many ways it would only create confusion in people’s minds and I think be impossible to deal with in law.
The legal status of marriage needs to be upheld in law and its benefits should be encouraged by the law of the land.
I urge you not to proceed with this amendment to the status of cohabitating adults.