Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Ceisteanna (160)

Peter Mathews


160. Deputy Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he intends to extend the civil partnership legislation to incorporate (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21676/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I have no plans to extend the civil partnership legislation to couples other than same-sex couples who choose to register their partnership, nor to extend the cohabitant provisions to familial pairs or groupings. I do not consider civil partnership to be an appropriate means of addressing the possible needs of the very disparate range of "non-conjugal" cohabitants as it imposes a very high level of mutual responsibility and obligation on the parties to it. The redress scheme, for instance, separately provided for in part 15 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, allows a qualified cohabitant, at the end of the relationship, to seek maintenance from the other, or a pension adjustment order or property adjustment order. Where the relationship ends on death, a qualified cohabitant may seek provision from the estate of the deceased cohabitant. Imposing such a default scheme on relationships based on family ties or friendship would be an unwarranted interference in those relationships and into the autonomy of each of the parties.