Cohabiting relationships in the future

The turn of the new year often sees reflection and shines a light on the current position and times past. In family law disputes, nowhere is that more needed than when considering cohabiting couples. Most couples’ property disputes centre on a piece of legislation known as TOLATA and our recent blog summarises this neatly. But what does the future hold for the fast growing living arrangement in the UK?

Noting the underlying trend a decade ago, the Law Commission published a report recommending a statutory scheme allocating property rights to qualifying cohabitees against each other, following the breakdown of their relationship. The 2007 report began to recommend giving qualifying cohabitants the same entitlement as a spouse or civil partner.

However, these recommendations have not advanced any further and still remain under consideration by the government. Delaying any progression on this area of the law was initially put down to large scale proposes changes to the family justice system, which themselves never materialised in great earnest. As with many issues over the past 18 months, further delays have materialised with the spectre of uncertainty emanating from the implications of Brexit. It is anticipated that little will change in the coming two years, with the political focus centred squarely on leaving the EU.

As the government continues to reflect on the law relating to cohabitees, with little change anticipated in the short term, it continues to be mindful of the financial consequences of the breakdown of a cohabiting relationship and take independent legal advice on protecting your financial assets at the outset of any new cohabiting relationship.

At Hunter & Uro, our solicitors specialise in family matters including TOLATA applications. Serving Bedford, Northampton and the surrounding villages, our lawyers can assist you with your family law matters. Contact us today on 01234 889777 to speak to a solicitor about how we can help you.

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