Written evidence submitted by Mr John Ward [HAB0129]
There should not be a legal definition of what is cohabitation because it is likely to be too inclusive and is not required.
No legislative changes are needed as cohabitating couples have no rights. They choose to have no rights. We do not make everyone a member of a tennis club because we think it would be good for them. However, a much greater effort must be made to educate people that they have no rights if they are only cohabitating.
No equality issues are raised because it is a matter of choice.
No legal changes should be made in relation to children. Where would it stop. Are we going to deal with children of mixed-race parents? They choose.
Cohabitating partners should not have the same rights as married couples as it destroys the concept of marriage and commitment and free choice. As a society we want couples to marry so that there is commitment particularly where children are involved.
There are no examples of GOOD practice in this area anywhere in the world.