[center]Break-ups Might Just Get Expensive[/center]
Cohabiting couples would be entitled to financial settlements if they split up, under proposals from the Government’s key adviser on law reform.
A report by the Law Commission says that partners who have been together for two years or more, or have had children together, should be able to make claims.
Under the scheme, courts would have the power to order former partners to sell their home, pay lump sums and even share their pensions to balance out the “pluses and minuses of the relationship”. Those making claims would have to prove that they had made “qualifying contributions” to the relationship, which have resulted in “enduring consequences”. They would have to prove that their relationships put them at a long-term economic disadvantage or gave their ex-partners a clear financial advantage.
The authors of the report went out of their way to allay fears that the proposals would undermine marriage. They included data from Australia that showed how rights for cohabitees had little impact on the marriage rate.