The office of national statistics (ONS) has released statistics showing that the number of marriages between opposite-sex couples have fallen by 45% since 1972. 

In 2017 there were 242,842 marriages which continues to show a year on year decline since the 1970s. 

Increasingly, many couple are choosing to cohabit rather than marry. Cohabitation is the fastest growing type of family unit in the UK. This may be because marriage as an institution may seem less relevant in today's society. However, there can be real legal and tax advantages afforded to married couples that are simply not available to those who live together without marrying. This has caused many to campaign for increased rights for cohabiting couples.

For couples who are living together, there can still be legal consequences of doing so.  Some couples who live together may consider entering into a cohabitation agreement. This is a is a legally binding document commonly entered into by unmarried couples who live together, or who are planning to live together. It sets out their financial and living arrangements, in relation to their current or future assets. It can address arrangements during their relationship, and what should happen in the event of a separation.