Is a marriage certificate 'just a piece of paper'?

In light of the supreme court decision to

On 31 August 2018 The Times reported that an unmarried mother, Siobhan McLaughlin had won her Court battle over benefits for widows.

This has led to calls for reform after The Supreme Court ruled that to deny widows bereavement benefits to Siobhan because she and her partner of 23 years were unmarried was discriminatory and a breach of human rights.

This is certainly good news.

However, whilst Siobhan was delighted that The Supreme Court had shared how her views that the law as it stands had discriminated against her children, she also said “I naively thought that the longer we were together as a couple, the more rights you had. Our four children had their dad’s name – to me it was just a ring and a piece of paper, the commitment was just the same”.

Worryingly, this view is still held by many but it is simply not the case.

Whilst no-one wants to think that their relationship may end it is well worth just checking out the legal position if the worst should happen. 

CONTACT MARILYN

If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or a Family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Marilyn Bell on 01727 798066 or 07725 372256. 

Read our latest Divorce & Family Law Views and Insights
SA LawFamily law image, suportive leagl advice
Views & Insights
Mental health and addiction in divorce and family breakdown

Marilyn Bell shares her experience of helping vulnerable clients through divorce and family breakdown when there are mental health considerations such…

Read More
They are a firm that does the right thing for the right reasons rather than simply to generate income.
Chambers and Partners
SA Law Calculator Business Accounts & Finance
Views & Insights
"My Career Took a Backseat During Marriage – Can I Be Compensated?"

Compensation claim for relationship-generated disadvantage

Read More
Reluctant Divorcee image SA Law
Views & Insights
The Reopening of Schools during the pandemic and the impact of this on Child Arrangements

Simran Gupta talks about plans for certain school for pupils to return to school and the issues for families in the context of family law.

Read More
Divorce and family law red chair SA Law
Views & Insights
Matrimonial Finances and Covid-19 Legal Q&A

Marilyn Bell answers your most important Covid-19 related divorce and finances related questions.

Read More
SA LawFamily law image, suportive leagl advice
Views & Insights
Coronavirus divorce rate: Staying optimistic

Divorce rates soared in China post-quarantine and some sources are predicting a surge in UK-based enquiries – Kiran Beeharry adds a refreshing view to…

Read More
Divorce and family law red chair SA Law
Views & Insights
Domestic abuse – Injunctive orders, Covid 19 and the Courts – the practical bits

Important guidance on the practicality of legal advice to help victims of domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read More
A very good and successful team who are approachable and a pleasure to deal with.
Legal 500

© SA LAW 2020

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.