In Ireland, cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights and protections as married couples. However, there are some legal protections available to cohabiting couples in certain circumstances:
Property rights: If a cohabiting couple owns property together, they may have rights to the property based on their contributions to it. This may include a right to a share of the property or the right to stay in the property after the relationship ends.
Maintenance: If a cohabiting couple has children together, one partner may be entitled to maintenance payments from the other partner for the support of the children.
Domestic violence: Cohabiting partners have the same rights to protection from domestic violence as married couples. This includes the right to obtain a safety or protection order against an abusive partner.
Succession: Cohabiting partners do not have automatic rights to inherit from each other. However, if one partner dies without a will, the surviving partner may be able to make a claim on the estate.
Immigration: Cohabiting partners may be able to apply for a visa based on their relationship. However, this can be a complex process and may require evidence of a long-term committed relationship.
It is important for cohabiting couples to be aware of their legal rights and to take steps to protect their interests. This may include drafting a cohabitation agreement or seeking legal advice on how to secure property and financial rights.