close relative or not

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  • #22782
    emm
    Participant

    Can you help?

    I have a case where we have refused Housing Benefit because we have considered the claimant to be living with a close relative.

    The gist of it is, that his partner died-(they were not married but had a child together) now he has gave up his home because he was not able to live there and he has moved in with her parents.

    do we consider him living with a close realtive or not?

    any thoughts would be welcome on this, can’t find any help in the guidance!!!

    #9566
    gerryg
    Participant

    Guidance is that death ends the relationship with in-laws (but not steps) (HBGM A3.38). I know these two weren’t married but I reckon he is still not a close relative of theirs.

    You could look at whether or not he actually has a liability to pay rent and if he has is it on a commercial basis – especially if he is still responsible for the child of their relationship.

    #9567
    markp
    Participant

    With Gerry on this – I think an assertion that he remains a close relative would not be accepted as valid by a tribunal but you do need to ask re the commercial nature of the occupancy. There is the question of formerly being a non – dep of the person to whom now paying rent and I think that this would possibly be appropriate.

    #9568
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I agree with Gerry that they are not close relatives, but that’s not to say some other subpara in Reg 9(1) does not apply.

    I don’t see how they ever were close relatives: the definition in Reg 2 only applies to a parent-in-law, not the parent of an unmarried partner. The OED defines “in-law” as a relationship by marriage, specifically one which brings the people sharing that relationship into the category of people who cannot marry each other. You cannot marry your parent-in-law, but you can marry the parent of your shacked-up live-in partner. This suggests that the status of in-law survives divorce and death (as presumably you cannot marry anyone, in-law or not, while you are still married to someone else), although this is the sort of thing that a lawyer with more general knowledge could comment on better than I can. Any students of ancient family law out there?

    #9569
    emm
    Participant

    Thanks for the replies- my thoughts on the guidance were similar in that death ended the “realationship”

    I agree that we cannot consider him as a close relative- but will pursue the commerciality of the liabilty to pay rent.

    At the end of the day, he was prompted to claim HB because he did not want to place an undue burden on his deceased partner’s parents

    Thanks again

    #9570
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I am slowly becoming convinced that the status of in-law stays intact after your spouse (and presumably civil partner as well?) dies or divorces you, at least in England and Wales. I googled on “in-laws marry” and discovered that the law has recently changed in Scotland to allow divorcees, widows and widowers to marry their parents-in-law. In England and Wales, you still cannot do that.

    This suggests to me that:

    – In E+W, these people are definitely stil in-laws even after death/divorce
    – In S they probably are too, but at least you can marry them

    Is there anyone out there with a more reliable knowledge base than the internet who can confirm or refute this?

    #9571
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Anybody prepared to start a poll on how many of us would consider marrying our mother/father-in-law?

    #9572
    andyrichards
    Participant

    It’s all explained in Circular A16/2005 actually. See section headed “Prohibited Degrees”. The phraseology in that circular does indeed suggest that the in-law relationship survives the death of the partner – e.g. “a man can marry his mother in law if his wife and her husband are both dead”. The relationship has to survive if that sentence is to make any sense!

    #9573
    markp
    Participant

    Andy,

    Quite self explanatory really. A man can marry his ma – in – law (should he wish to) if
    (1) his wife is dead and
    (2) her (the ma – in law’s) husband is also dead.

    It doesn’t cover the scenario though, if both partners on either party are still extant, although divorced. I presume the exclusion still applies in England & Wales.

    Therefore I can see the argument that the relationship could be seen to continue but the analysis in the Findlay 2005/06 seems to suggest otherwise.

    This one will run……………….

    #9574
    andyrichards
    Participant

    If the “in-law” relationship only lasted for the time of your marriage to your in-laws’ offspring then you’d be banned from marrying one of them simply because it would be bigamy! Yes it will run….and run…

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