Until the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 came into effect on the 1st of January 2011, people who resided with their partner in a long term relationship had no rights to seek a Property Adjustment Order, a Pension Adjustment Order or a Maintenance Order in respect of themselves. If the relationship ceased through a break-up or death, the surviving cohabitant partner could be left in a very precarious financial position. The 2010 Act provides a mechanism by which a partner can ask the court for certain reliefs including those listed above.
It is possible for cohabitants to contract out of the right to bring an application under the 2010 Act by entering into a Cohabitants Agreement. These agreements are very strictly construed and we would strongly recommend that both parties seek legal advice to ensure the provisions are enforceable.
Contact Michelle O’Mahony at firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries.