Written evidence from Tom Smith [HAB0019]

I see that there is a suggestion to give co-habiting partners new rights.

This proposal is fraught with problems.

Marriage is carefully regulated and law surrounding it is extensive and widely understood. Benefits of marriage for children and the married couple are clear as are the financial consequences of marriage. Society benefits from the stability marriage gives.

How will it be determined whether or not a partnership has been consummated?

How will it be determined what the intentions of co-habiting people were when one dies and a co-habiting person claims a relationship?

Fraud in the clearly regulated marriage procedure is well known but with no regulated legal basis what will a ‘partner’ constitute?

That being a partner is the same as being married but without the requirement for a legal procedure is clearly going to undermine marriage.

This is a most naive proposal and should be abandoned before further damage is done.


July 2021