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Letter: Your Say - Cohabiting injustice.

Byline: JUDITH MIDDLETON

THE Conservative Party risks getting its policy on cohabiting couples badly wrong, judging by the proposals on family law announced this week by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Denying legal protection to couples who live together is no way to strengthen the institution of marriage.

The fact is that governments have a responsibility to make law based on society as it actually is, and the number of couples living together in the UK continues to increase. Governments should also ensure legal protection for the vulnerable.

Members of family law group Resolution regularly see the injustice suffered when the relationships of cohabiting couples break down. Even after decades together, many people find themselves homeless and facing real financial hardship.

This is fuelled by a widely held misconception that cohabiting couples have "common law" rights combined with existing law that is unclear and inadequate. That's why we want a new law to protect cohabiting couples.

We hope the Government will support Lord Lester's Cohabitation Bill which he will be introducing in the Lords in December, aimed at giving rights to couples who live together.

JUDITH MIDDLETON, Partner, Latimer Hinks, Darlington (Resolution's North-east spokesperson)
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2008
Words:195
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