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Calls For Reform of Cohabitant Rights

Family Law

The President of the Family Division has called for new rights for cohabitants when a relationship breaks down.  He highlighted the potential injustice caused by the law relating to cohabitants and said that women, in particular, are often severely disadvantaged by being unable to claim maintenance and having limited property rights.

The Law Commission’s report in July 2007 made the following recommendations:

It was also suggested that in the event of law reform the courts should retain their discretion and if cohabitation was for a short period and the contribution minimal, the courts would not be sympathetic to a claim.

No further action was taken by the government on the recommendations and a Private Members Cohabitation Bill failed to proceed beyond committee stage.