Thursday, 25 September 2014

Cohabitation and Common-law relationships

Q: I would like to find out how long do you have to live with someone in Trinidad for the relationship to be considered common law?

A: You’re considered to be common-law as soon as you start living together (cohabiting). However, cohabitees do not obtain legal rights until they have been cohabiting for at least 5 continuous years, according to section 7 of the Cohabitational Relationships Act 1998 and section 2 of the Distribution of Estates Act 2000.


Curious said...

Lets say Jane (54 yrs old) was involved in a relationship with Ben (70 yrs old), Ben convinced her to leave her job and move to his place stating he will take care of her. Ben travels each year for work, Jane leave her job and moves in with Ben. He then tells her to have her grandson and daughter move in also, since Jane cared for them, the children also relocate.

While Ben is away for work he usually sends home money to support the family, when he returns they live as any normal couple, going on outings together and planning for the future. 5-6 years later, Ben travels for work as usual but this time things are different, Ben sends home less money than usual, and eventually he stops sending home any money at all. Jane can no longer reach him via phone, he has stopped accepting all calls. A letter is then delivered to the home from Ben via a Lawyer, stating Jane must move out within 30 days as he is selling the house, the letter also indicates that Jane was taking care of the house in his absence.

Jane hires a lawyer who responds to Bens letter stating Jane will not be moving out, they had a common law relationship, and she is to be compensated for jobs done to the home while she lived there. Bens lawyer responds back stating they did not have a common law relationship, and he will give her $15,000 upon moving out, and $15,000 7 days after she moves out and she must move within 30 days.

Of course Jane thinks this is not fair, she gave away most of her things, her home to a family member, furniture and she left her job for this man who she was planning to get married to. Now at 54 years she has health issues and unable to work, what are her options? He is denying their entire relationship.

Thank you

Trinbago Rights said...

Jane needs a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Hi,in the face of there being so many rights available to persons in cohabitational relationships can it be said that the effect on married persons of nullity of marriage is in essence the same thing or are there major difference still. I'm mostly concerned about the degree of protection to persons in either type of relationship