My Muslim clients are often surprised to hear that their marriage may not be legal in England, even when their ceremony took place here.  They need to have had a civil marriage as well as a religious marriage.

This latest survey demonstrates this widespread issue, which leaves the couple in the position of being treated as if they were unmarried in the event of any separation. 

As a result the claims they can have against each other are much more limited than for a married couple.  For example there is no pension sharing or spousal maintenance available for an unmarried partner.

If you know anyone who might be in this position and would appreciate some initial advice about the options available to them, please do contact me on 01865 781115 or gemma.nicholls-webber@freeths.co.uk.