For better or worse - if you pardon the pun - marriage is no longer seen as important by many people who want to set up home together. The law in England and Wales does not provide a remedy for what happens when and if cohabiting relationships come to an end which is any way comparable with what is in place for failed marriages or civil partnerships.
New statistics give the lie to the idea of husbands and wives remaining together "till death do us part". The Office for National Statistics has produced a bundle of data exploring the reasons behind the group known as 'silver splitters', those individuals who choose to divorce when aged 60 or over.
Whilst good physical health and having a steady job top the list of the most important factors in people feeling good about themselves, domestic bliss comes right behind. The ONS research details how those who are either married or living in a civil partnership are happier than cohabitees and those who are single, divorced or widowed.
I was thrilled to attend the launch of The Marriage Foundation at Middle Temple Hall on Monday. I had expected those invited to consist mostly of family lawyers but I couldn't have been more wrong...
The only way to ensure that your wishes are adhered to - whether you're married or not - is by having a will. It might not surprise anyone that I firmly recommend them but the countless difficulties experienced in cases on which I have advised where no will was present, make all too clear how the time spent putting in place a clear plan for your assets, is very well spent providing peace of mind for you and your family.
Cohabitation agreements were in place before the recent ruling. Recording your intentions and those of your partner might seem unromantic, just as prenuptial agreement might seem cold and contractual to some. However, they have the potential to assist the often unpleasant picking apart of a relationship that can inflame already raw emotions.