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Greater rights needed for unmarried couples



unmarried couplesThere are two million unmarried or cohabiting couples in the UK - and many have families - but while marriage is not for everyone, the rights for parents after a relationship breakdown are currently not the same for married and unmarried couples.

Unless, of course, you live in Scotland, which is why a top female judge has called for fairer settlements in the rest of the UK for cohabiting or unmarried couples after a relationship comes to an end.

Such legislation has been in place in Scotland for five years, and Baroness Hale of Richmond believes that there are "lessons to be learnt" in the rest of the UK from Scottish law on the issue.

But legislation for the rest of the UK, as recommended by the Law Commission, has been delayed by Westminster MPs.

The Supreme Court justice was speaking during a court ruling in which she said a Scottish man must pay £40,000 to his former partner after their split, according to a newspaper.

She said that the Scottish legislation had "undoubtedly achieved a lot for Scottish cohabitants and their children".

"English and Welsh cohabitants and children deserve no less," added Baroness Hale.

She also said that the workings of this Scottish legislation are "both practicable and fair".

"It does not impose upon unmarried couples the responsibilities of marriage but redresses the gains and losses flowing from their relationship."

The law for unmarried couples in Scotland

Section 8 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 gives unmarried or cohabiting couples the right to compensation in Scotland, and the chairman of Resolution, an organisation representing 6,500 family lawyers, supported Lady Hale's calls.

Speaking to The Times, he said: "The situation for people who live together in England and Wales more often than not creates injustice and hardship, and our current law fails to reflect the way people are choosing to live their lives. Sadly, children can often be affected."

The Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Court of Session in Edinburgh that Angus Grant should pay £39,500 to Jessamine Gow after they split up.

The two began a relationship in 2001 before Ms Gow sold her flat and moved in with Mr Grant, using money from the sale "partly for her own purposes and partly for their living expenses".

A majority of the money awarded reflected the value by which the flat would have improved if she had not sold it.

Saving money as a single parent

A relationship ending can be very difficult for all involved, not only on our children, but on finances as well.

A great way to try and give your kids a great time this summer while not overdoing the finances is to treat them and yourself to a fun holiday, and there are plenty of great ways to save when booking a holiday - whether through choosing an all inclusive deal or a self-catering apartment.






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