Appellate Judge States Property Laws for Cohabiting Couples are Not Fair
A judge from the court of appeals has ruled that property laws geared towards cohabiting couples are unfair. Justice Toulson said that these laws come at the expense of women who lose their savings after breaking up with their partners. Toulson said that lawmakers have proposed reforming the existing property tax laws. However, these reforms were struck down in Parliament.
Toulson cited a case where a couple were partners in two businesses they operated while living together. The court ruled that the woman was not entitled to receive anything when the two of them separated. Toulson gave the woman permission to appeal the lower court’s decision. He told her that the law was not written in the interests of unmarried women and she should take it to the appeals court.
Toulson said that the woman and her partner had been together since the 1970s. She lost her entire savings several years before she planned to retire. He said that these laws are very sad and should be rewritten to reflect the interests of people who choose not to get married. Toulant said that the law is particularly unfair to women who choose not to get married to their partners.
Unfortunately, the judge in this woman’s case was forced to rule in favor of her partner. The appeals judge said that his colleagues are forced to uphold unjust laws, whether they like them or not. He said that lawmakers will need to consider these implications.
Unfortunately, the existing law will probably not be reformed anytime soon. Lawmakers considered reforming the law in 2011, but there were many other pending reforms on the books at the time. They seem reluctant to consider changing the existing property law even if their dockets clear up. However, lawmakers may need to reconsider their decision. They have acknowledged that the number of married couples have dropped by nearly a quarter of a million in the last year, while the number of cohabiting couples has risen by nearly 50%.