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Money, marriage and cohabitation

Date:26 JUN 2006

By Stuart Bridge Law Commissioner.

In May 2006 the Law Commission published its consultation paper Cohabitation: The Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown. The author says this represents the half-way stage of this important project which reviews the existing law that applies when opposite or same-sex cohabiting couples separate and considers whether certain cohabitants should be entitled to claim financial relief. The paper argues the case for more effective remedies to be made available on separation where a couple has children criticising the shortcomings of the general law of trusts and Sch 1 to the Children Act 1989. It sets out a scheme for financial relief with family law remedies such as property transfer periodical payments lump sum and pension sharing being available to the courts in the exercise of their discretion. It invites the views of consultees as to whether certain cohabitants who do not have children should also be eligible to apply for financial relief and if so in what circumstances.

Seven days before the publication of the Commission's Consultation Paper judgment was given in Miller...

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