A practitioner reports being told by a member of LSC staff that her client’s means had to be aggregated with her significant other’s because ‘they were serious about each other and called each other “partner”‘, even though they were not living together (and never had).
That’s not exactly what it says in the Community Legal Service (Financial) Regulations 2000. The interpretation section states:
“partner” except in the expression “partner in a business” means a person with whom the person concerned lives as a couple, and includes a person with whom the person concerned is not currently living but from whom he is not living separate and apart.
I agree that the concept of being a couple when two people are ‘separate and apart’ can be tricky. Guidance can be found in LSC Manual vol 2, part F, para 4.2. Examples given are where you would aggregate means are where the couple are prevented from living together by circumstances, e.g. one of them is in prison. It also suggests that with unmarried couples (or those not in a civil partnership), you would expect to see some pooling of financial resources.