Why are long-term cohabiting couples not being given the same legal status as married couples?.
Cohabitation is the fastest growing family type in the UK so why is it that heterosexual couples, many of whom have lived faithfully together with their families for a lifetime are not being afforded the same legal status which married or same-sex relationships are currently being given. This cannot be right!
Most heterosexual couples who cohabitate don't want the legalities that accompany marriage. They're trying to avoid legalities!
Several years ago there was a "palimony" lawsuit initiated by actor Lee Marvin's longtime companion Triola Marvin (After their breakup, she legally adopted the surname Marvin) despite never having been married to him, and claimed he had promised to support her for the rest of her life. In the end, in Marvin v. Marvin, the California Supreme Court ruled that Triola had not proven the existence of a contract between herself and Mr. Marvin that gave her an interest in his property.
I suspect had Triola won her lawsuit there would be far less instances of (men willing to cohabitate with their girlfriends). The overall advantage for not having any legalities is if in the event a couple splits up both parties leave with what they brought to the relationship.
There is nothing keeping a couple from drawing up their own contracts to divide assets if they choose. In the U.S. for example California makes corporations allow employees to add "domestic partners" to their health insurance regardless of their gender. Therefore a heterosexual couple can add their mates.
I find it very strange that the UK system lumps unmarried couples together when it comes to them claiming benefits but that unmarried couples cannot legally claim for instance, additional years one partner may have paid into a pension for the other.
My guess is the government is always going to look for ways to encourage marriage over cohabitating. The one exception to this has been with gay couples. However more countries are now legally allowing them to marry.
Which I probably why I find this so difficult. The laws should be equal for married or cohabiting people especially especially when they have children together. Half the population don't believe in marriage or even go to church.
I am not sure quite what aspect of UK law is bothering you. Cohabiting partners are treated as married in respect to divorce after just 6 months living together, and they are taxed as a married couple. This is government controlled.
Pensions that you mentioned are covered under Pension and Insurance law and the providing companies set the rules. I can not see any reason why a cohabiting couple can not add contributions for their partner, unless the company providing it lack the flexibility (or will) to cater for them as they would a married couple. It is after all only necessary for them to add a named beneficiary and change the premium accordingly.
I am thinking you should be able to find a company that could arrange this for you. Lloyds of London used to underwrite policies specifically designed for clients needs.
I no longer live in the UK but worked in the Insurance and Pension industry there for many years before moving to Canada. I hope you can find a company that can help you out. If this is not possible then write to your MP and complain. If you can get 1,000 (I think that is the required number) others to sign a request for change he can submit a Private Members bill to get the law changed. Good Luck whatever you decide to do.
I was referring to a state pension. If the male has paid in more than the 30 years contribution which is required to get a pension, his cohabiting partner cannot receive the additional years to top up her pension but a wife could.
I see why that would bother you it seems to me a case for the Court of Human Rights. It is definitely inequitable!
Stephen J Parkin,
I completely agree with you. This is about the same rights for all people regardless of whether they are married or not.
legally, they are not married in the eyes of the law, they areconsider illegally staying together.
Isn't it a shame that even the highest court in the land has made it possible for gay couples to have legal and taxation. Benefits but hetrosexual couples living together in a committed relational are afforded none of those benefits. Are we then against people who are not gay??? The question should be asked and acted upon.
The highest court in the land just made it possible for gay couples to get married.
Heterosexual couples have always had that right.
As a married heterosexual man who has lived with a few women I never wanted or sought legal benefits with them.
My point exactly, I think it is time that their rights were looked at in the light of gay and lesbian couples having more rights now than heterosexual couples and their offspring.
I don't see how gay people having the right to get married gives them more rights than heterosexual couples who have always had the right to get married.
My point is the vast majority of cohabitating straight couples (never wanted) legal status.
True but some heterosexual and cohabiting people have children and may wish to seek legal benefits such as a state pension through a partner who is deceased or who paid excess years in contributions. Only married people can claim these now.
Well, you've just spelled out why marriage is preferable over co-cohabiting. In the event of a death, you're basically up the creek. Marriage offers stabilization. I don't see what gays have to do with it. Now there is a level playing field for all.
Since I've never lived in the UK, I cannot give the clear-cut answer you seek, Sally. I will transcend politics and government, however, and say this: Heaven has a solution for every problem. What does the other half truly need? Food? Shelter? Companionship? Debt consolidation? There are "more ways than one to skin a cat," as the old saying goes. If government doesn't satisfy, look for other alternatives. Enjoy life, be happy and "may you live long and prosper!" (The Vulcan greeting from the original Star Trek TV series).
Blessings! God's way is abundance and health. He loves all his children equally. Real answers for real needs are forthcoming in ways you may never have expected! ***
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