Written evidence from Mr Peter Young [HAB0140]
Cohabitation Rights consultation: call for evidence
I respectfully submit the following observations for consideration:
- When a man and a woman decide to marry they make a public commitment to each other which provides great stability for the new family unit that comes into being. The proposed changes to the current law governing cohabitation rights would undermine the institution of marriage by devaluing the commitments made by those who marry, since those who co-habit make no such public vows of commitment.
This commitment by married couples is recognized by the law that makes provision for a spouse following the death of their husband/wife.
It should not be automatically applied to those who have made no such commitment.
- It is completely unnecessary to create a new category of relationship status. Couples can address their concerns over financial issues for co-habitees by getting married. Matters of inheritance can be resolved by the simple expedient of making a will.
- Whereas marriage makes a clear distinction about couples in a permanent relationship there is no such clarity about people who share a home. Are they housemates, or is one the lodger of the other? Such situations could lead to any new law on co-habitation being abused.