Know your rights – Cohabiting couples redress scheme

I have been living with my partner for years but our relationship has ended. What rights do I have?

If you have been living with your long-term partner and your relationship ends, either through death
or separation, you may qualify for the redress scheme for cohabiting couples.
The scheme aims to protect a financially dependent member of the couple if the long-term
cohabiting relationship ends.

How can I get redress?

To apply for court orders under the redress scheme, you must be a qualified cohabitant.
To be a qualified cohabitant, you must have been:
 Living together and in an intimate relationship for at least 5 years
 Living together and in an intimate relationship for 2 years if you had one or more children
with your partner

What types of orders can I apply for under the scheme?

Under the scheme, cohabiting couples can get similar court orders to those available to married
couples when they separate or divorce.
These include:
 Maintenance orders
 Property adjustment orders
 Pension adjustment orders
If your partner has died, you can apply for provisions to be made for you from their estate.
You do not have an automatic right to get these orders granted. Instead, the court must be satisfied
that you were financially dependent on your partner.
If you are granted certain orders under the scheme, you may have tax obligations.

Is there a time limit for applying for court orders?

You must apply for any court orders within 2 years of the end of your relationship.
If your partner has died, you must make an application for provision from their estate within 6
months of applying for a grant of probate.
If you are concerned about your rights following the breakdown of your cohabiting relationship, you
should consider getting legal advice from a solicitor or from Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC).

Read more about the redress scheme for cohabiting couples on or call us on 0818 07 4000 (Monday to Friday,
9am to 8pm).

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which
provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0818 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin
Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at and from the Citizens
Information Phone Service, 0818 07 4000.

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