Under the Civil Partnership Act, co-habiting couples relationships have a legal status in the event of a separation which confer rights on individuals who move in with a partner who own their home. An individual will qualify as a cohabitant if he/she lives with their partner for 5 years, or have children together after two years. After this period should their relationship end, they can apply to court for a range of orders similar to those available to a married couple who separate, including a property adjustment order which if given can give them a share of their partners property. However, co-habiting couples have the option to opt out by way of written agreement to protect their property rights by providing that neither party may apply for property adjustment orders from the other.
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