HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

CCM15080 - Undisclosed Partners: Stability of Relationship

The length of time a couple have been together does not necessarily indicate how stable the relationship is. At one end of the scale you may come across couples who have known each other only a few weeks or days, but who have moved in together with the firm intention of staying together. At the other end of the scale may be couples who have divorced after say 25 years of marriage and who are still both occupying the formal marital home until they can afford to live apart. Some couples may also have a history of repeated temporary splits and reconciliations.

Relevant factors may be:-

  • on what basis they split household chores and responsibilities, such as cooking, cleaning and paying bills
  • whether they are both involved in caring for any children who live in the household
  • whether they tend to spend their leisure time together or separately
  • whether they normally take joint holidays
  • whether they plan any future activities or responsibilities jointly or separately
  • whether they intend to get engaged or married
  • whether the relationship has a volatile history ie. the couple is known to have had several splits and reconciliations.

An established pattern of domestic or financial activity will usually indicate an established relationship.