Living with your girlfriend may constitute cohabitation if it is a stable relationship of a sexual nature. While there is no stipulated period of time that the parties should live together, a sense of responsibility for each other has been emphasised in order to prove the relationship exists.

Cohabitation does not have the same consequences as marriage – currently there is no reciprocal duty of support and partners do not automatically inherit from each other. But it has legal consequences as the Insolvency Act and the Domestic Violence Act define “spouse” to include a partner in a cohabitive relationship.