COHABITATION

Cohabitation – don’t put yourself at risk

You may recall the Supreme Court case brought last year by the couple who wanted the right to enter into a civil partnership. Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan did not want to get married; they wanted legal recognition of their relationship.

The Supreme Court judges found in their favour, decreeing that The Civil Partnership Act 2004, which allows only same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. So now, we await a change of legislation from the Government, which is unlikely to be any time soon.

At KWW, we are concerned that unmarried couples remain vulnerable as they are not offered the same protection as married couples and civil partners. Cohabiting couples often assume that moving in together creates similar rights and responsibilities as marriage (so-called ‘common-law marriage’) or absolutely no rights at all. Both beliefs are wrong.

If you are moving in together, or you are the parent of someone in that position, you should know how cohabiting affects your/their legal position and what protections there are should the relationship end or one of the cohabitees dies.

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