DCA tackles the myths of common-law marriage

The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) has moved to quash myths about common-law marriage.

‘Living Together’, a 12-month campaign launched this week, aims to inform

co-habiting couples of their rights and provide guidelines on safeguarding their interests.

The drive addresses recent research that revealed many people believe co-habiting couples have the same rights as married couples if they have lived together for more than six months.

The £230,000 campaign will be managed by charity Advice Now and retained agency Amazon PR.

The misunderstanding of co-habiting couples’ rights stems from a law that ceased to exist in the 18th Century, and can lead to disputes over child custody, property and pensions.

Amazon is planning a media relations campaign targeting national press, women’s magazines, broadcast media, online and trade publications to plug Advice Now’s website and research.

It will target professionals such as health and social workers who have contact with people who need advice on the subject.

Amazon managing director Louise Morriss said: ‘Advice Now is creating information about the law and rights which is available online. One of the interesting areas is parenthood. For example, not everyone knows how to register a father.’

The campaign will take on a fresh theme each month, including property and health, in a bid to help people avoid disputes.

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