Exploding the Myth

ResolutionIn what appears to be a press release, Chairman and Press Officer of the Coventry and Warwickshire group of Resolution Alan Markham says it’s vital that the law is changed and clearly communicated to clear up the public misconception that cohabiting couples have protection as “common law man and wife”. Resolution is not recommending that cohabiting couples should have the same rights as married couples but that they should take some responsibility for each other’s welfare when their relationship ends. As Markham says: “Heterosexual couples are free to marry and same sex couples can enter a civil partnership. If they choose not to, that’s fine, but the law must protect the vulnerable – especially where one person may have given up their earning capacity to look after the couple’s children".

In it's response to the Law Commission's consultation on cohabitation, Resolution suggests that if a couple have been together for two years or more, the protection should be automatic, unless they choose to opt-out of the system, but financial support should last for only three years at most, other than in exceptional circumstances. The consultation period is about to end, on the 30th September, so we must now await the Commission's Final Report, due in August 2007.