Report seeks improved rights for unregistered couples

The Law Reform Commission is calling for improved rights for unmarried same-sex and heterosexual couples who decide not to avail of the Government’s plans to let them formally register their relationship.

The Government is planning to introduce laws to allow such couples enjoy some of the benefits of marriage if they register their 'civil partnership'.

However, in a report out today, the Law Reform Commission says couples who have been living together for more than three years should also get better rights even if they opt not to register.

The body says such couples should be eligible for tax breaks, especially on stamp duty for purchasing a home, and should also be given recognition under social welfare and domestic violence laws, as well as in the health system.

Elsewhere, the commission is recommending that, if the relationship ends, one person should be able to apply for financial assistance from the other.

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