The most popular day for marriage

Most popular day for marriages sees local Solicitor campaign to raise awareness of the common-law marriage myth

Saturday 18 August has been reported as the most common day in 2018 to tie the knot in the UK. However, since the early 1970s, the number of people actually getting married has steadily decreased, dropping a further 3.4% last year. There have been many theories about why marriage rates are falling, but regardless the fact remains that fewer people are formalising their relationship.

In 2016, there were 3.3m cohabiting couples or around 6.6million cohabiting adults. This is officially the fastest growing family type, more than doubling from 1.5million couples just 20 years ago. Yet, a 2017 ComRes survey showed that only one couple in three knew there was no such thing as common law marriage.

The issue is widespread, with nearly 98% of professionals from family justice group Resolution reported having worked with a cohabiting couple who they were unable to help. A further 90% said the couples are often surprised to find out about their lack of rights.

To help raise awareness of this issue Karen Kenyon from Harold Stock & Co. Solicitors is hoping to raise awareness and encourage cohabiting couples to take steps protect themselves and their families.

Karen explains: “If an unmarried couple breaks up, they would not necessarily be entitled to share in (what they thought were their) joint assets, such as a house they may have made significant financial contributions to, if they aren’t named as an owner on the deed. This is the same regardless of how long they have been together or whether they have children.”

“Government has the opportunity to update legislation, to bring our laws in line with modern family types. Caroline Lucas raised an early day motion in November, which has already been supported by 23 cross-party MPs.”

“In the absence of action from government, these couples need to know that they are not given rights through common law marriage, so they can take appropriate actions to protect themselves. For example, signing a cohabitation agreement is an easy and cost effective way to get financial peace of mind without getting married or forming a civil partnership.”

Meet our Family Team

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Karen Kenyon


T: 0161 682 2400

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Dawn Atkinson

Family Executive

T: 0161 682 2400

Resolution urges politicians to end the blame-game and commit to no-fault divorce in election manifestoes

Family law group, Resolution, is calling for a cross-party consensus on divorce law, and urging politicians to end the blame game and let couples officially part on amicable terms.

In a letter to all the UK’s major political parties in the run-up to next month’s general election, Nigel Shepherd, the chair of Resolution, has urged all politicians to commit to no-fault divorce in their forthcoming manifestos. Resolution has also called for greater clarity over the legal status of pre- and post-nuptial agreements, which are currently not enforceable in courts in England and Wales. Continue reading…

Pre-Nuptial Agreement – The Death of Romance or a Sensible Move?

As it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d  take a look at pre-nuptial agreements.  I know, I know, last of the romantics !

Whilst it is not the most romantic of topics depending upon your circumstances, it may actually be very sensible to have an agreement in place prior to marriage. Most of us don’t go into marriage expecting  it to end in divorce but it is a harsh reality that separation or divorce does happen and it may be sensible for you to set out your financial intentions in the event of a divorce at the outset.

When to make a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

If either partner in the relationship  has substantial assets independent of one another, you may wish to protect these before entering into a marriage or civil partnership. You may be involved in a business partnership which you would like to protect and not see this become part of any divorce settlement. You may have previously suffered financial hardship as a result of a failed marriage and do not wish to repeat this.

Are Pre-Nuptial Agreements Legally Binding?

As it stands, pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding. However, in the event of a divorce and associated financial proceedings, a Court is likely to take into account the wishes set out within the Agreement so long as certain criteria have been met. In order for a pre-nuptial agreement to be considered the following must be met:

  • Both parties received independent legal advice at the outset.
  • The agreement must be entered into more than 21 days before the marriage
  • Full details of all assets were disclosed at the time the agreement was made.
  • The agreement is fair.
  • There has been no significant change in the relationship such as the birth of children of the marriage. The agreement can be reviewed and amended in the event of the birth of children or other significant changes.
  • There was no duress or pressure upon either party to sign the agreement

If you would like further advice in relation to pre-nuptial agreements or any other family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0161 682 2400.

Karen Kenyon

Family Solicitor


Intestacy queries have increased dramatically over the last 5 years claims Age Concern

We all know how important it is to make a Will, don’t we? After all, it’s the only way to ensure that what you leave behind goes to those you want. Making a Will also ensures that there is also no added stress for loved ones in what are already difficult times post-bereavement. Yet it seems that the majority of us are failing to take our responsibilities seriously. According to a recent YouGov survey, nearly two thirds of the UK’s adult population still do not have a Will. Continue reading…

Court of Appeal rules that a divorced partner can challenge his former mother-in- law’s Will

When can you challenge a Will? When do you, in the court’s opinion, have a valid to bring a case and challenge the express wishes of the bereaved? That was the question put before the courts in the recent case of Randall v Randall. The answer, according to the Court of Appeal’s latest decision, is when you have ‘sufficient interest’ in the Will to bring a case. Continue reading…

MoJ introduces 34 per cent divorce fee increase with less than a week’s notice.

If you are considering getting a divorce, then unfortunately we have some bad news for you. As of Monday, 21st March 2016, getting a divorce just became more expensive. Last summer, the Ministry of Justice consulted on a round of court fee rises, including a proposed 34% rise in divorce fees from £410 to £550. Those increased charges were applied on 21st March 2015. Continue reading…

Vacancy – Family Law Solicitor/Fee Earner



A vacancy has arisen for a 3 – 5 PQE Solicitor/fee earner to work in our Family team based in our Mossley office.

You will be assisting the Director in charge of the team and other fee earners. You will need to have a flexible approach and the ability to work within a team environment.

You will have experience of all aspects of private matrimonial including complex financial matters and Children Act proceedings.

You will be a 3-5 PQE solicitor or have equivalent experience and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and exceptional client care skills.

You will be highly organised, proactive and committed to meeting deadlines while remaining calm under pressure.

You will assist the team to meet financial targets through accurate time recording and regular billing. You will have an interest in business development and marketing of the Department.

You will be based in our Mossley office but travel to our branches in Stockport and Failsworth will be necessary.

We offer a competitive salary dependent upon experience.

To apply for the role, please forward your CV together with details of your current salary package to our Practice Manager, Alexandra Newman



Dependency claims: what rights to fatal accident compensation do co-habitees have when their partner dies?

When a loved one dies in an accident, fatal accident compensation can only be claimed in certain prescribed circumstances. Under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1976, only 3 groups of people are entitled to make a fatal accident compensation claim following the death of an individual in a UK accident: dependants of the deceased, close relatives of the deceased and the deceased’s estate. Under the act, husbands, wives or civil partners, parents or ascendants, children or other descendants and brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles can all make a claim for a loss of dependency. Continue reading…