Ruth Mitchell

Consultation to give unmarried couples a fair deal

The Law Commission yesterday published a report looking at the legal protection of unmarried couples who live together. The Government has asked the Law Commission to examine the options for reforming the law that applies to cohabiting couples on separation and death. The consultation paper produced will invite the public’s views on the difficult issues raised and so assist the Commission in making recommendations to Parliament for reform.Stuart Bridge, the Commissioner leading the project, said “More people live together outside marriage than ever before. The law that applies if cohabitants separate is unacceptably complex. It often gives rise to results that many people would consider unfair. We believe that there is a strong case for introducing more suitable financial remedies where cohabiting couples have children, and possibly in other circumstances.“The consultation paper rejects the view that cohabitants should have access to the financial regime that applies on divorce. Instead, it proposes a self-standing scheme of financial remedies for certain cohabitants on separation available only in strictly limited circumstances. The scheme would not apply to all cohabiting couples.If you are interesting in finding out more about the consultation or would like to offer your recommendations www.lawcom.gov.uk/cohabitation.htm.

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