In Ireland, many people still use the terms, “common law husband/wife” even though there is no legal recognition for those terms in Irish law. However, since the 1st January 2011, with the commencement of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants act, 2010, some cohabitants do have rights and obligations to the party they are living with.

This act fundamentally changed the legal rights and responsibilities that people living together have towards one another. It provides for a “redress scheme” for “qualified cohabitants” and allows parties to make applications to Court for certain financial orders, including maintenance.
The Act also explicitly allows couples to opt-out of this redress scheme by making a Cohabitation Agreement.

We can advise clients on the legal consequences of their relationship; prepare Cohabitation Agreements; and represent clients making an application to the Court for financial redress following the breakdown of a cohabiting relationship. We also act for clients seeking provision from the estate of their partner where they were not married and are qualified cohabitants.
For further information, contact Susan Webster here.