Family lawyers have welcomed a landmark ruling on unmarried couples' entitlement to bereavement benefits as a step in the right direction for cohabitation rights. 

Denying the unmarried mother of four children a widowed parent's allowance is illegal, the Supreme Court ruled, in a decision that significantly extends the rights of unmarried couples. By a majority of four to one, the court's justices declared the government's refusal to pay up to £117 a week in benefits breached the family's human rights. As such it will put pressure on ministers to consider making urgent changes to the law.

Parliament has now been urged to clarify unmarried couples' rights when one partner dies to avoid people 'sleepwalking' into legal difficulties.

About the Author: Glen Callow

Prime Accountants News Centre

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