Undisclosed Partners: Recent separations
Where the single claim was made within the last two years and there has been no reply to the opening letter you will need to consider whether the customer previously lived with the suspected partner but they have now separated.
Where there is no reply in a pre-award case you will reject the claim.
In post-award examinations for new claims or examinations or enquiries into claims made within the last two years, the first thing you should check is whether there has previously been a joint claim with the suspected partner. If so, there may well have been a separation and the evidence that you hold relates to the time when they were a couple.
If the evidence only relates to the time when they were making a joint claim you will not be able to make a decision of Living Together as Husband and Wife, Living Together as Civil Partners or Living Together as a Same Sex Couple. If you suspect they are still living together you should ask your CCRO to review the case to see if there is any fresh evidence that either gives a new address for the ex-partner or shows the partner is still living with the customer. If they have no further information the only way in which you can continue your examination or enquiry is to make a formal request for the information and documents that you previously requested.
Note: The Marriage (same sex couples) Act 2013 extended marriage to same sex couples. See TCTM06100 for the definition of a couple.
If you hold evidence from after the period covered by the joint claim then see the guidance at CCM15380. Evidence does not include an address held on another data base which might not have been updated. For example, the SA records have shown the suspected partner at the customer’s address for many years. The fact they have not updated the records is not evidence they are still together. However, a loan application by the ex- partner made after the date the joint claim ceased but showing the customer’s address, may point to them still being a couple.
Where you are carrying out an enquiry or an examination into a single claim which has been in existence for some time the question of a recent separation is less likely to be an issue but you should still be aware that the evidence in the Standard Intelligence Package might relate to an ex-partner and they have simply failed to tell the various authorities of one of the partners new address.