Cohabitation: Current Legal Solutions

Rebecca Probert

University of Warwick - School of Law

Current Legal Problems, Vol. 316
Warwick School of Law Research

This paper considers the arguments that have been advanced to justify giving cohabitants the same rights as married couples, and suggests a number of reasons for caution: first, the fact that these are uncharted waters, given the relative novelty of cohabitation as a family form; secondly, the evidence that suggests that a ‘functional’ approach may actually justify rules privileging marriage; and, thirdly, the indications that the law may indeed play a role in individual decisions. It then goes on to review recent developments in the areas of contract, property and family law and to re-evaluate their potential to meet the needs of cohabiting couples, viewed in the light of the demographic background. It concludes by advocating incremental change combined with a more wide-ranging review of the legal treatment of marriage and cohabitation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: cohabitation contracts, constructive trusts, family home, common-law marriage, functional family law

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Date posted: November 14, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Probert, Rebecca, Cohabitation: Current Legal Solutions. Current Legal Problems, Vol. 316; Warwick School of Law Research. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1504043

Contact Information

Rebecca Probert (Contact Author)
University of Warwick - School of Law ( email )
Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
02476 524484 (Phone)
02476 524105 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/staff/academic/probert

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