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How it could all go wrong for Kate with Pete

Co-habiting couples rights


With rumours of a baby on the way, and Pete Doherty moving into her multi-million pound Cotswolds home after he was allegedly evicted from his rented London flat, Kate Moss needs to make sure she doesn't come a financial cropper warns national law firm Irwin Mitchell.

The complicated laws surrounding cohabiting couples means that they currently have significantly less rights than married couples and same sex couples, the introduction of the Civil Partnership Act last December gave same sex couples greater financial security. The Law Commission is currently reviewing the laws surrounding the rights of couples that cohabit but do not get married.

Kate is worth an estimated £30 million and has landed contracts believed to be worth more than £10 million in the last year alone, including an exclusive deal with Topshop to design a line of clothes which will see her net a further £3 million. Pete on the other hand is a recovering drug addict who it is alleged has debts of more than £200,000.

Family law reform

Elizabeth Hicks a family law specialist at national law firm Irwin Mitchell said The issue of divorce and who deserves what in a divorce settlement has been put firmly back in the spotlight by the impending £1 billion divorce battle between Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, which gets messier by the day. However, the fact that two million Britons live in sin, such as Kate and Pete “ and many other celebrities such as Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson, and Wayne Rooney and Colleen McLaughlin, means that celebrities need as much protection as the average man on the street, if that relationship breaks down.

The Law Commission is due to report on its findings soon, and a change in the Law is needed to bring into line the 2 million unmarried people who live together with those who are married. The fact is that married couples and same sex couples are all legally taken care off should they ever split, however cohabiting couples are not.

The Law Commission has previously highlighted it favours the clean break principle used in divorce laws rather than carrying on a long term legal row when it comes to unmarried couples splitting up.

Family law expert

Elizabeth Hicks continued, The clean break principle for cohabiting couples is a good idea but every case must be looked at individually and if the current suggestions become law it will be very interesting to see how the Courts award maintenance to a celebrity cohabiting couple who have separated, For the moment there is no legal claim which a cohabitant can bring against the other for maintenance for themselves. The only way of unravelling the financial affairs of a cohabiting couple is complex, involves a number of different types of litigation and can therefore be expensive. Hopefully the law will change so as to give protection to a couple who cohabit and then break up.