Are cohabiting couples being let down by the law when a relationship ends?

As cases increase, difficulties over proof of relationship status and no fixed rule for financial claims are raising questions over whether the existing legislation provides sufficient protections to unmarried couples

Lawyers say cohabitation claims have significantly increased in recent years. Picture: Getty

“I accept that the applicant and my husband were in a relationship and that it was intimate,” testimony from a woman in a recent High Court judgment stated. “I deny . . . that we ceased to cohabit as husband and wife.”

While this was not the sort of evidence that typically features in legal judgments, it was far from unusual in cohabitation claims.

Under a 2010 piece of legislation, unmarried couples who live together ...