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02 JAN 2007

Dealing with Property Issues on Cohabitation Breakdown

Gillian Douglas, Cardiff University, Julia Pearce, Bristol University and Hilary Woodward, Cardiff University. This article presents preliminary findings from a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of property issues arising on cohabitation breakdown. The study is particularly timely given the recent publication of the provisional recommendations of the Law Commission for reform of this area of the law (see Law Commission, Cohabitation: The Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown A Consultation Paper, Law Com No 179 (TSO, 2006). The broad aim of the study was to provide a detailed understanding of the practical issues, expectations and needs of those engaged in property disputes with former partners, and of the nature of the help and advice which they received from professional advisers. The authors were particularly interested in cohabitants understandings (or not) of their legal entitlements, and in how professionals cope with an area of law with which they are likely to be less familiar as compared to their more usual diet of divorce cases. See January [2007] Fam Law for the full article.

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