Rights of cohabiting couples


Cohabitants are defined in the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 as two same-sex or opposite-sex adults who are:

  • Not married to each other and
  • Not in a registered civil partnership and
  • Not related within the prohibited degrees of relationship (broadly speaking, relationships which would make them ineligible to marry each other) and
  • Living together in an intimate and committed relationship

Cohabitants (cohabiting couples) do not possess the same legal rights and obligations as married couples or civil partnerships. Given the limited legal recognition of your relationship, this will obviously have some significant implications for various parts of your life.

This section aims to guide you through the various issues associated with living in a cohabiting relationship in Ireland. You will find out about the rights and entitlements of cohabitants in a range of areas such as:

Page edited: 7 February 2019