170.—(1) For the purposes of this Part, a cohabitant is one of 2
adults (whether of the same or the opposite sex) who live together
as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship and who are
not related to each other within the prohibited degrees of relationship
or married to each other or civil partners of each other.
(2) In determining whether or not 2 adults are cohabitants, the
court shall take into account all the circumstances of the relationship
and in particular shall have regard to the following:
(a) the duration of the relationship;
(b) the basis on which the couple live together;
(c) the degree of financial dependence of either adult on the
other and any agreements in respect of their finances;
(d) the degree and nature of any financial arrangements
between the adults including any joint purchase of an
estate or interest in land or joint acquisition of personal
(e) whether there are one or more dependent children;
(f) whether one of the adults cares for and supports the chil-
dren of the other; and
(g) the degree to which the adults present themselves to
others as a couple.
(3) For the avoidance of doubt a relationship does not cease to
be an intimate relationship for the purpose of this section merely
because it is no longer sexual in nature.
(4) For the purposes of this section, 2 adults are within a prohibited
degree of relationship if—
(a) they would be prohibited from marrying each other in the
(b) they are in a relationship referred to in the Third Schedule
to the Civil Registration Act 2004 inserted by section 26
of this Act.
(5) For the purposes of this Part, a qualified cohabitant means an
adult who was in a relationship of cohabitation with another adult
and who, immediately before the time that that relationship ended,
whether through death or otherwise, was living with the other adult
5 as a couple for a period—
(a) of 2 years or more, in the case where they are the parents
of one or more dependent children, and
(b) of 3 years or more, in any other case.
(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5), an adult who would otherwise
10 be a qualified cohabitant is not a qualified cohabitant if—
(a) one or both of the adults is or was, at any time during
the relationship concerned, an adult who was married to
someone else, and
(b) at the time the relationship concerned ends, each adult
15 who is or was married has not lived apart from his or her
spouse for a period or periods of at least 4 years during
the previous 5 years.