The plethora of proposed private members’ bills making their way through the House of Lords could have huge implications.
Many couples opt to cohabit without making a legal commitment which is still leaving them vulnerable and exposed.
On 04 February 2020, the House of Lords will hear and discuss the proposed Cohabitation Rights Bill 2017-19.
The Bill aims to provide increased protection for persons who live together as a couple as cohabitants. If the bill is passes, it will offer more legal protection concerning property of a deceased cohabitant who are survived by their partner.
This bill has been around the fringes for 13 years, and it had been thought that due to the proroguing of parliament and lack of a mention in the Queen’s speech, it would be even longer before it would contemplated again.
It was back in 2007 that the Law Commission issued a report making recommendations that would afford more rights to cohabiting couples, following up with further provisions in 2011 regarding intestacy and other related provisions.
The aim of the bill is to ‘address economic unfairness at the end of a relationship’ for cohabiting couples.
If passed, the Bill would give former cohabitants the right to apply to the court for a financial settlement order and ‘enable courts…to adjust the financial position of qualifying cohabitants on relationship breakdown, so as to spread the financial consequences, benefits and costs fairly between them’.