I was able to contribute some commentary to this excellent article from @natalierosegil in Refinery29 which highlights some of the devastating emotional and financial consequences of being unmarried when it comes to death or relationship breakdown. The continuing myth of "common law marriage" must be broken.
Many lawyers, charities and campaign groups also believe the law is behind the times. Joanne Radcliff, family law partner at Brabners LLP and Resolution member, says it's common for clients to be "unaware of their true legal status" because of the myths around common law marriage. "As a cohabiting couple you don't have the same legal remedies available to you if your relationship were to break down. For example, you cannot claim maintenance as a spouse, or share in each other’s pensions. In many scenarios you would also not be entitled to a share in a family home, if the property is held solely in your partner’s name and you didn’t directly financially contribute to its original purchase, even if you paid other household bills or outgoings for your family."