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  • Cohabitation trends, policies and practices: Situating the United Kingdom in an international perspective

    6 February 2015 - 10.00am - 16.00pm at the Local Government Association, Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ.

    Family formation in the United Kingdom has changed rapidly during the last decades. Perhaps most strikingly, the number of couples who live together without being married has surged and many cohabitants today raise children. The purpose of this workshop was to explore the latest developments in cohabitation trends and policies in the United Kingdom and abroad, and to encourage debate about issues that affect those cohabiting at different life stages.

    The workshop brought together demographers and legal researchers from the ESRC Centre for Population Change and other Universities as well as interest groups, policy makers and support organisations. By encouraging dialogue across disciplines and backgrounds, the workshop allowed participants to consider the challenges and policy implications of family change in Britain from a variety of perspectives. With cohabitation currently being the fastest growing family type in the United Kingdom, these issues have never been more relevant.


    09:30 - 10:00 Registration

    10:00 - 10:10 Welcome and Introduction
    Brienna Perelli-Harris

    10:10 - 11:10 The diversity of cohabitation: Who cohabits? And why?

    Cohabitation trends: An international perspective
    Brienna Perelli-Harris

    Towards a new understanding of cohabitation: Insights from focus group research across Europe and Australia
    Brienna Perelli-Harris, Monika Mynarska, Ann Berrington, Caroline Berghammer, Ann Evans, Olga Isupova, Renske Keizer, Andreas Klaerner, Trude Lappegård and Daniele Vignoli

    Understanding the role of cohabitation in the UK
    Ann Berrington

    Cohabitation trends and patterns in the UK
    Ann Berrington and Juliet Stone

    Commitment and the changing sequence of cohabitation, childbearing and marriage: insights from qualitative research in the UK
    Ann Berrington, Brienna Perelli-Harris and Paulina Trevena

    Questions and discussion
    Jennifer Holland

    11:10 - 11:30 Coffee break

    11:30 - 12:30 Family changes in the UK: Insights from relationship support services

    Relationships, Recession and Recovery
    Chris Sherwood

    Separation and couples' access to mediation
    Jane Robey

    Strengthening couple relationships, married or not: Online early intervention
    Penny Mansfield

    Questions and discussion
    Traute Meyer

    12:30 - 13:30 Lunch break

    13:30 - 14:30 The legal rights of cohabitants in the UK and abroad

    Cohabitants and their rights in the United Kingdom
    Anne Barlow

    The role of marital status in family policies: A comparison of 12 European countries
    Nora Sánchez Gassen

    Questions and discussion
    Rebecca Probert

    14:30 - 14:45 Coffee break

    14:45 - 15:45 Panel Discussion

    Moderator: Wendy Sigle

    Panellists: Sir Paul Coleridge, Joanna Miles & Simon Duncan

    15:45 - 16:00 Closing Remarks
    Brienna Perelli-Harris

    16:00 Reception

    Posted 16/12/2014 10:47