David Quinn: Cohabiting couples face a rude awakening when new legislation abolishes 'living in sin'
Published 26/03/2010 | 05:00
ARE you cohabiting? If so, the law will shortly be knocking at your door thanks to the upcoming Civil Partnership Bill. So far, what little debate there has been about this extremely significant piece of legislation has focussed almost entirely on what it will mean for gay and lesbian couples. Almost no attention whatsoever has been paid to how it is going to affect the country's 121,000 cohabiting couples.
The bill was at committee stage in the Dail this week. Once it becomes law in the coming months any cohabiting couple that has been together for three or more years, two years if they have children, will find themselves caught in a legal web not of their own making.
The bill will allow one partner to sue the other for maintenance and a property settlement in the event of a break-up.