As the number of couples choosing to live together (and not to marry) is on the rise, it is essential that access to what their legal rights and obligations are is readily available.
The fourth edition of Barlow's Cohabitants and the Law provides a wealth of both new and updated information on important issues affecting cohabiting couples such as cohabitation agreements, disputes in relation to children, the family home and tax and social security. Part I focuses on the ongoing relationship and Part II with relationship breakdown.
There have been significant legislative, procedural and case law developments since the publication of the third edition in all of the key areas of family, child, land and trust law that impact on cohabiting couples in much the same way as married couples, eg:
- New child maintenance regulations (CMS)
- Family Procedure Rules 2010
- Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
- Adoption and Children Act 2002
- Stack v Dowden  UKHL 17,  2 ALL ER 929
- Jones v Kernott  UKSC 53,  1 AC 776; and
- Bhurra v Bhurra  EWHC 727,  All ER (D) 213 (Mar)
Mention is also be made of EU jurisdiction distinctions/differences.
The practical stance of the work is enhanced by a precedents and checklist section, and the provision of a number of 'at a glance' comparative tables setting out the rights of cohabitants, married couples and civil partners in relation to property and housing, financial provision following breakdown of the relationship, child maintenance, death, pensions and more.