Case law definitions of cohabitation
Case law definitions of cohabitation

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Case law definitions of cohabitation
  • Factors
  • Case law
  • Human rights

There are various definitions of cohabitation within case law. Under the current remedies available to cohabitants, the first step will be to establish that the relationship is sufficient to satisfy a specific remedy. Whether cohabitation has taken place may also arise on the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership ie the significance of pre-marital/civil partnership cohabitation in financial proceedings. See also Practice Notes:

  1. Statutory and other definitions of cohabitation

  2. The age of the parties and the length of the marriage or civil partnership

  3. Eligibility to apply under TOLATA 1996

  4. Rights on death of cohabitant

  5. Family provision claims—the cohabitant


Of the various definitions that have arisen within case law, a generally accepted list of potential influencing factors is (per Kimber v Kimber):

  1. whether the parties are members of the same household and share their daily life

  2. the parties' intention and motivation

  3. whether