With so many couples now relying on the Bank of Mum and Dad when they set up home together, divorce throws up a whole new set of problems for parents who want to safeguard the investment they made in the early stages of the relationship.
As the trend for couples to live together without marrying continues to rise, efforts are underway to make them aware that common law marriage is a myth and they are not automatically entitled to the level of legal protection that applies to married couples.
There is still a misconception that couples who share their home and finances have certain rights, whether they are married or not. This assumption is unfortunately resulting in some people being left homeless and facing financial hardship if their relationship breaks down.
More than 5.9 million people in the UK are choosing to live together without marrying yet few are aware that they have little or no legal protection if their relationship ends.
With cohabiting couple families now the fastest growing type of household, the family law body Resolution has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the risks facing those in this kind of relationship.
More and more unmarried couples are buying a home together before marriage, or without any plans to marry, but few are aware of the steps they should be taking to protect themselves if the relationship fails.