The government should improve legal protections for unmarried couples by introducing a scheme proposed by the Law Commission 15 years ago, a cross-party group of MPs has recommended.

There were 3.6 million cohabiting couples last year compared to 1.5 million in 1996. However, the House of Commons women and equalities committee says many people wrongly believe that, after a certain amount of time living together, the law treats cohabitants as if they were married – dubbed the ‘common law marriage myth’.

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