Written evidence from D Taylor [HAB0339]

I am a married, retired mechanical engineer, parent and grandparent and write in a private capacity.

I am in favour of supporting marriage. I think the government and society in general should make more of an effort to promote the institution. Over the years it has brought stability to society and is the foundation upon which society has been built. The marriage ceremony is a public declaration of commitment and is recognised and supported in law. Bringing in a legal system to govern cohabitation will undermine marriage.

If co-habiting couples are concerned about what happens to their property in the event of their death, then there are already legal remedies in place e.g. writing a will. In the case of what happens to children then again legal documents can be drawn up to protect the children and parents. In the case of decision-making regarding property and health, then LPAs cover this. If cohabitees are sufficiently concerned about these issues, then it is incumbent on them to take the necessary legal steps to provide the protection.

It would be complex to legally define a cohabiting situation without it being the same definition as marriage.

July 2021