The Consequences of Cohabitation

28 Pages Posted: 9 May 2015 Last revised: 28 Mar 2016

See all articles by Anna Stępień-Sporek

Anna Stępień-Sporek

University of Gdańsk School of Law; Stępień-Sporek, Pawelski, Stoppa Spółka Partnerska Kancelaria Radców Prawnych i Adwokatów (Law Office)

Margaret Ryznar

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: May 8, 2015

Abstract

In several British surveys, the majority of people thought that cohabitants had the same legal status as married couples. However, this could not be farther from the truth — the law treats them as nothing more than strangers, albeit often with contractual capabilities to protect themselves in the event their cohabitation ends. A minority of American states, however, have refused even contract rights to cohabitants, with Illinois leading this contingent. In late 2014, however, an Illinois appellate court dramatically diverged from the state’s well-established precedent, determining that a recent change in public policy required recognizing property consequences of cohabitation. The legal framework on cohabitation is even more dynamic in Europe, ranging from no protection to equal protection that is provided in marriage, depending on the country. This Article therefore takes a comparative approach to examining the appropriate regulation of cohabitation and whether protections should be offered to cohabitants as their number continues to grow on both sides of the ocean.

Suggested Citation

Stępień-Sporek, Anna and Ryznar, Margaret, The Consequences of Cohabitation (May 8, 2015). University of San Francisco Law Review, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 75-101, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2603990

Anna Stępień-Sporek

University of Gdańsk School of Law ( email )

Jana Bażyńskiego 6
Gdańsk, 80-180
Poland

Stępień-Sporek, Pawelski, Stoppa Spółka Partnerska Kancelaria Radców Prawnych i Adwokatów (Law Office) ( email )

ul. Jana Matejki 21/2
Gdańsk, 80-232
Poland

Margaret Ryznar (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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