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On 16 October 2006 the 'LivingTogether' campaign, run by Advicenow on www.advicenow.org.uk launched a new guide, 'What about the kids?' to help unmarried parents and step-parents understand the complications of cohabitation. The guide covers a range of issues, from parental responsibility, residence and contact to guardianship, wills and inheritance and can be downloaded free from the website. Over a quarter of all children are now born into unmarried families, mainly due to rising levels of cohabitation since the late 1980s, and the UK has one of the highest levels of births outside marriage in the EU. Advicenow research shows that, at the last count, over four million people cohabit yet nearly two thirds are unaware or even misinformed about the legal implications as regards children. 'What about the kids?' and a template for drawing up a 'LivingTogether Agreement' can be downloaded for free at www.advicenow.org.uk/livingtogether. The site also includes a new online 'agony aunt' service, where people can ask resident experts for advice on cohabitation issues, or view stories similar to their own.
Advicenow was launched in June 2003 by Advice Services Alliance (ASA), the co-ordinating body for UK advice services. ASA members include AdviceUK, Citizens Advice, Age Concern England, DIAL UK, Law Centres Federation, Shelter and Youth Access. ASA works with its membership and the government to develop policy on the delivery of legal and advice services; champions the development of high quality information, advice and legal services; and provides supporting services to advice networks.
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