Are you a “qualified cohabitant” under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010?

Are you a “qualified cohabitant” under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010?

The Act imposes obligations on unmarried cohabiting couples unless they specifically choose to opt out by entering into a valid Cohabitants Agreement.

A qualified cohabitant is defined as an adult who has lived with another adult for a period of two years or more, where they are the parents of one or more dependent children, or for a period of five years or more in any other case.

Qualified cohabitants can apply to Court for the purpose of seeking Property Orders, Maintenance Orders, Pension Orders, and/or provision from the estate of a deceased cohabitant. The qualified cohabitant must satisfy the Court that he or she is financially dependent on the other cohabitant, and that the financial dependence arises from the relationship or the ending of the relationship.

The Court will consider certain factors including:

  1. The financial circumstances of the parties;
  2. The rights and entitlements of any spouse or former spouse, civil partner or former civil partner;
  3. The rights and entitlements of any dependent child;
  4. The duration of the parties’ relationship;
  5. The contributions made by each cohabitant, including contributions made in looking after the home;
  6. The effect on the earning capacity of each cohabitant on the responsibilities assumed by each of them during the period they lived together;
  7. Any physical or mental disability; and
  8. The conduct of the cohabitants where it would be unjust to disregard it.

If you require further information on your rights as a “qualified cohabitant” or independent legal advice on entering into a Cohabitants Agreement please contact O’Callaghan Kelly.

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