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. 


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. 

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