Cohabitation laws too expensive, says Haworth & Nutall

Blackburn-based firm Haworth & Nuttall has claimed that changes to cohabitation laws will “fall at the first hurdle” due to extra costs.

The firm claims that the recent report by the Law Commission, which calls for couples to have financial protection similar to married couples if they split up, will result in costs that are too high for the Government to bear.

The Government is currently reviewing the Law Commission’s proposals that would mean cohabiting couples would be able to make a financial claim even if there are no children involved.

Haworth family law partner Ian Brunt said the recommendations would lead to an increase in the number of legal aid cases, making it unlikely that the Government would introduce the changes for financial reasons.

“The new rights proposed by the Law Commission could see the amount of legal aid financial provision cases almost double,” said Brunt. “Changing the legislation on cohabitation in this way would mean, almost overnight, far more people would need help.”

The Legal Services Commission currently uses its budget of £2bn to help around two million people access legal aid each year.