Cohabitation Rights, a fairer society for all

September 16, 2013 9:47 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
English law currently provides extremely limited legal protection for cohabiting couples upon the breakdown of a relationship. This can have an adverse effect on the individuals and any children.

The motion includes proposals based on reports by The Law Commission in 2007 and 2011.

Key proposals include:
  • Ensuring that where one partner of a cohabiting relationship has suffered an economic disadvantage or acquired a retained benefit from that relationship, a court would be able to make an order adjusting the retained benefit or sharing that economic disadvantage between them in case of a relationship breaking up
  • Upon the death without a will of one partner in a cohabiting couple, the other should benefit from his or her estate provided that certain qualifying conditions were met
  • Couples would be free to opt out of the statutory scheme by mutual agreement
Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert said:

"Millions of people in the UK live together but do not choose to get married, whether or not they have children. Many of them believe that these relationships are protected as 'de facto marriage', but this term has no legal meaning, and they have very little protection.

"Liberal Democrats think it is important to support such long-term partners, especially if they do have children, and will press for this to be recognised in law, unless the couple choose not to have such protection."