The law on cohabitation deals with the obligations and rights of two people who live together as a couple, but who are not in a civil partnership or marriage. The law now gives same-sex cohabiting couples and mixed-sex cohabiting couples the same protections and obligations. These include:. Taken together, these legal rules are rather weaker than the protections and obligations the law gives civil partners and married couples.
Much of the law surrounding cohabiting couples is the same whether you are in a heterosexual, gay or lesbian relationship. Firstly, it is not possible for the court to make an order under Schedule 1 of the Children Act which addresses the financial needs of any children against a cohabiting step-parent or against a same sex former partner where there is no biological relationship with the child or the couple did not enter into a civil partnership. If you have children then it is also important to consider whether you are a legal parent. This is different to parental responsibility. Being a legal parent and parental responsibility confer different legal rights and responsibilities. If you have parental responsibility for a child but you are not their legal parent, then you are not liable to pay child maintenance. However, if you are a legal parent you will be liable for child maintenance if you have separated from the other parent and the child lives with you less than half of the time.
Relationship stability is a key indicator of well-being, but most U. The advantages of the SIPP data include the recent, nationally representative, and longitudinal data collection; a large sample of same-sex cohabitors; respondent and partner socioeconomic characteristics; and identification of a state-level indicator of a policy stating that marriage is between one man and one woman i. We tested competing hypotheses about the stability of same-sex versus different-sex cohabiting couples that were guided by incomplete institutionalization, minority stress, relationship investments, and couple homogamy perspectives predicting that same-sex couples would be less stable as well as economic resources predicting that same-sex couples would be more stable.