Births outside of marriage outnumbered births within marriage for the first year!


Recent stats provided by the Office for National statistics highlighted that in 2021 there were 624,828 live births throughout the year in England and Wales. 320,713 of those were registered to women outside of marriage or civil partnership.

This is the first time since records began that the number of births outside of a marriage/civil partnership have been higher than those registered to women within a marriage or civil partnership.

These figures show approximately 51.3% of live births in 2021 were registered to unmarried women/women not in civil partnerships and it seems that the family setting is steering more toward unmarried partners.

Parental responsibility for unmarried parents

The laws that apply to parents who are married/in a civil partnership in relation to acquiring Parental Responsibility differs from those parents who are unmarried/not in a civil partnership.

You should seek early legal advice if you are uncertain as to your parental responsibility position and our family legal team are on hand to provide you with the advice and guidance required based on your specific circumstances.

Financial support for unmarried parents

The financial claims in relation to children upon separation also differ. If you are unmarried and require financial assistance from your child’s other parent, you may need to rely on Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

Whereas those parents that are married would deal with such matters upon their divorce under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

Legal advice for unmarried parents

Our family team of solicitors are experts in family law. We provide advice and guidance to parents – unmarried and married in terms of their parental responsibilities and financial matters. We offer a FREE 30-minute consultation for new clients from anyone of our office as well as online and telephone consultations.

If you would like to discuss a family legal matter, please call 01708 229 444 or contact a member of our family team directly to arrange an appointment.

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Jennifer Herbert, Senior Associate in the Family team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of February 2023.



Jennifer Herbert

Senior Associate

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