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The Rights of Cohabiting Partners


Cohabiting partners make up the fastest growing type of family, with over 3.4 million partners cohabiting in England or Wales. People in romantic relationships who cohabit currently have less legal protection than those who are married or in a civil partnership in the event of death or separation. Despite this, there is a widespread perception that cohabiting partners have similar or identical rights to those who are married or in a civil partnership.

The Women and Equalities Committee will be investigating the equalities issues around cohabitation, how cohabitation rights could be strengthened and what legal protection for cohabitants could look like and how this might be introduced. We want to hear from a range of people and organisations on how the rights of cohabiting partners can be strengthened and what legal reform is necessary to provide further protection.

This inquiry will focus on the rights of those in romantic relationships who live together, otherwise known as cohabiting partners or couples.

If you require additional support or advice on the current rights of cohabiting partners, you may wish to contact Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444.

Committees of the House of Commons are not able to take up individual cases but if you would like political support or advice you may wish to contact your local MP.

This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence

The deadline for submissions was 4 July 2021. The terms of reference are still available to view.

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