Live-in lovers break up… then pay up: Court hearings boom for unmarried couples
By Tamara Cohen
Couples who break up following a live-in relationship are paying tens of thousands of pounds in settlements to their former partners.
A fresh phenomenon of ‘break-up payments’ can be increasingly common because more along with also more couples are living together for several years without marrying.
When a marriage collapses, a spouse can be usually entitled to half the couple’s assets, although for cohabitees the legalities can be a minefield.
Law firm Pannone has reported a 40 per cent rise in these payments inside past 5 years, claiming people are taking advantage of the uncertain legal status of unmarried couples to issue ‘nuisance’ demands.
Some people were willing to pay up to £100,000 to former partners to avoid lengthy legal action which can last up to 18 months, of which said.
Recent actions have involved custody of children, jointly owned property, bank accounts along with also even pets.
There are 2.3million cohabiting couples along with also the number can be anticipated to double inside next 25 years. One in four children can be born to cohabitees.
Vicki McLynn, a senior associate at Pannone, suggested the problem was partly due to such disputes being dealt with using property rather than family law, as no legislation had yet been passed doing clear the rights of unmarried partners when they split up.
She said: ‘of which can ultimately be a case of “he said, she said” – one partner’s ability to be more convincing than the additional in court can be crucial in determining how cases are settled.
‘Given of which element of risk along with also the assets at stake, many family along with also litigation lawyers in our firm along with also elsewhere are seeing clients wanting to pay up to end the matter.’
Unmarried couple Jim Carrey along with also Jenny McCarthy split after 5 years together. They are not thought to have sought settlements coming from each additional
In 2007, the Law Commission published a series of recommendations for the government following a review of the rights of unmarried couples. of which concluded of which the ‘unclear’ current law made for ‘unfair’ outcomes.
The commission urged a series of reforms including legislation enabling unmarried men or women who had lived together for at least two years to make a claim against their ex-partner. The recommendations have so far not been acted upon.
Miss McLynn suggested of which while some disputes involved individuals who had genuinely made contributions to building up joint assets, others featured demands which could best be described as ‘nuisance’.
She said: ‘We have seen instances in which people have issued demands to complicate their exes’ fresh relationships.’
Earlier This specific year, family law firms reported a 15 per cent rise inside number of cohabiting clients seeking advice on relationship breakdown as a result of the recession.
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