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Rights for cohabiting couples 20 Nov 2009
Cohabiting couple
Should cohabiting couples who separate have the same rights as married couples who divorce?

In a public lecture at Gresham College on Tuesday, Baroness Ruth Deech criticised the Law Commission’s proposed change to the law that would give couples who live together for 5 years the same rights as those who are married if they separate (those who’ve lived together for between 2 and 5 years should receive half of what a spouse would in the case of separation). Baroness Deech said "women do not need and ought not to require to be kept by men after their relationship has come to an end". So would a cohabitation law ‘retard the emancipation of women’ as Baroness Deech said in that lecture, or does it offer financial security for women in cohabiting relationships?  To discus the issues Jenni is joined by Baroness Deech and by Marilyn Stowe, a divorce lawyer based in Harrogate, who was on the committee that advised the Law Commission.

The Law Commission
Marilyn Stowe
The Bar Standards Board

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