[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]New research published today (8 December) by the Co-operative Legal Services reveals that unmarried adults are falling out of love with the concept of marriage and those in the South East of England are least likely to ever enjoy a wedding day with almost two thirds (61%) unsure if they will ever get married.

Whilst the research highlights that almost one third (32%) of unmarried adults in the South East have vowed to never tie the knot, almost one fifth (29%) are unsure if they ever will.

Overall, the research has highlighted that over half (56%) of UK adults are unsure if they will ever get married. Almost a quarter (22%) of unmarried adults do not believe in tying the knot, with a further two out of five (21%) being put off because they think weddings are too expensive.

Almost one in six, (15%) of those currently unmarried state that they never want to get married because they don’t like to be the centre of attention, and one in ten admit the decision is out of their hands, as their partner doesn’t believe in marriage. Surprisingly, almost a tenth of unmarried adults (9%) have opted out of marriage in order to avoid their partner inheriting their possessions.

Jenny Beck, Head of Family Law for the Co-operative Legal Services said: “Although it’s surprising that almost two thirds of unmarried adults in the South East are unsure if they will get married, each year we see an increase in the number of calls from unmarried cohabiting couples who want advice on how best to protect themselves and the run up to Christmas is usually our busiest time for these types of enquiries.

“For couples who choose to cohabit it is really important that they consider having a living together arrangement. The law for unmarried couples hasn’t caught up with this trend and people can find themselves seriously compromised’

A cohabiting or living together agreement is a legal document which can contain important agreements such as how each of you will contribute to rent, mortgage or household bills, how you will  deal with joint bank accounts and how you will decide what happens to items you’ve bought together in the event that you do separate.

Top 10 reasons why unmarried adults in the South East are choosing to opt out of marriage:

23% think weddings are too expensive

17% say they don’t believe in marriage

15% are choosing not to get married because they believe they have the same rights without doing so

11% don’t want their partner to inherit their possessions when they die

10% don’t like being the centre of attention

10% are put off having been married previously and it not working out

9% blame their partners for not wanting to get married

7% would like to improve their appearance before getting married

5% don’t see the point because they don’t have a big family

1% don’t like their partner enough to marry them

Co-operative Legal Services Head of Family Law, Jenny Beck shares her top tips for cohabiting couples:

Be clear from the start about what you want in terms of marriage and children to avoid surprises later down the line. Discuss the next decade: do your visions match up?

Be honest about your finances and any debt you have

A Cohabitation (living together) agreement can set out how you and your partner will manage your day to day finances – you can make one before you start living together or at any time.

Make a Will because is something happens to you, your partner will not automatically inherit your assets.

Give each other space – it’s important that you each continue to lead your own lives

Establish house rules. Share responsibility of household chores in order to avoid arguments

Don’t forget about Date Night – make weekly plans to spend good quality time together

Where there are children involved, share responsibility

Don’t just live together in order to save money, live together because you enjoy being together

If you are buying a house together, a trust deed or declaration of trust can legally set out how you own a property.

Top 3 regions which have fallen out of love with marriage:

The Co-operative Legal Services research has highlighted that unmarried adults in the North East are least likely to ever want to get married with over one third (35%) saying no to marriage and almost three in ten (27%) unsure if they will ever tie the knot. Scotland came out as having the highest number of marrying types with over half, (51%) of unmarried adults admitting that they would like to get married one day.

Region % of unmarried adults who have said no to marriage % of unmarried adults who are unsure if they will marry
North East 35% 27%
Northern Ireland 34% 17%
South East 32% 29%


Top 3 regions which have said yes to getting married in the future:

Region % of unmarried adults who have said yes to marrying one day
Scotland 51%
Yorkshire and Humber 50%
London 48%