The Office of National Statistics have published data which confirms that cohabitee relationships are on the rise. These relationships have grown by 132% since 1996 to almost 1.3 million in the UK. Couples are still, however, under the illusion that these relationships afford them similar protection to marriage. This is untrue. In fact, cohabitees have very few claims against each other and the financially weaker party is largely unprotected in the event of relationship breakdown. The law in this area is desperate for reform and revision. The Cohabitation Rights Bill is in the early stages of passing through parliament but for the time being couples are wise to speak to a solicitor to understand their rights and how best to protect themselves and their children in the event of relationship breakdown.