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Marriage, CP and the conceptions of the family > cohabitation > Flashcards

Flashcards in cohabitation Deck (6)
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what is the myth of common law marriage

he idea that, by living with someone, a cohabitating person acquires rights comparable to those of a married person - is widely believed but is largely false, as those who go to court to enforce their ‘rights’ have found out.


Burns v Burns

court held just living in someone’s house for 19 years and having 3 children does not give any entitlement. She was merely a licensee in his house, so had no rights.


Kernott v Jones

shared intention of a 50/50 split. Equity recognises unfair to give half as he had gone 12 years without paying the mortgage 90/10. CA overturned to 50/50. HL reinstated HC 90/10- only cohabs therefore afforded rights of legal owners which highlights the lack of protection


LC: Cohabitation Financial Consequence of relationship Breakdown

suggests that co-ownership disputes should be resolved by a state property regime for cohabitants which would incorporate some ideas from matrimonial principles. Recommends legislative scheme although different from that of married couples, which would offer family style protection to vulnerable ex-partners


How are cohabs currently protected

S 36 LPA which allows to decide where as S 24 MCA gives court wide discretionary powers looking at fairness


However, why might cohabs not want this

many people simply cohabit because they do not want the rights and resposbilites of marriage and we should respect their autonomy