An increasing number of couples are choosing to live together for significant periods of time without getting married. As the number of cohabiting couples rise, it was felt by the Scottish Government that the Law needed to offer some protection to both individuals who chose to live together. The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 made changes to the law to reflect the increasing number of cohabiting couples who choose not to get married.
Section 28 of the 2006 Act introduced to Scotland the right of the Cohabitee on separation to make a financial claim against the other partner. Whilst the rights of the separating Cohabitees are modelled on those of married couples, they are in reality quite different, and there is still far less protection offered to unmarried couples in the event of a separation. However, there are important considerations when you are cohabiting with a partner, where a little planning can make a huge difference. If you are already cohabiting or considering living with your partner, speak to our family law solicitors if you would like some clarity on your legal position.
Cohabitation Agreements Scotland
A cohabitation agreement can protect you and your assets should your relationship breakdown. The cohabitation agreement works much in the same way as the pre-nuptial agreement as it is agreed upon before difficulties arise. If you would like to know more about making a cohabitation agreement with your partner, get in touch with us. Our solicitors will be happy to discuss the process with you. Speak to one of our team in Glasgow or Coatbridge for more information on how we can help you.
Cohabitation & Separation
It is possible to make a financial claim on separation in a cohabitation setup. It is very important to note that there are strict time limits in bringing a financial claim against your former cohabitee. You must make the claim within one year of the date of separation, and failure to do so will mean you will lose the right to claim entirely.
It is clear the law has changed to give separating cohabitees additional rights and there have been cases where individuals have been successful in achieving substantial financial awards. It has also been recognised that the length of time the partners lived together does not necessarily have to be very long for them to be recognised as Cohabitees. The Court will look at all the circumstances of each case on an individual basis.
Our Family Law solicitors have expert knowledge in this area. In many cases, we will be able to act on Legal Aid funding. Whatever the circumstances of your separation, we can help. Get in touch with us to discuss your situation as soon as possible to avoid any time limit issues.
Cohabitation & Inheritance
Section 29 of the 2006 Act also allows cohabitees to make a financial claim in the death of their partner. These cases must be made within six months of the death. The laws of succession (where a party dies without a will, intestate) have not developed to take account of financial claims for cohabitants.
We believe making a Will, is important for everyone, but it becomes all the more significant if you are living with a partner. In order to prevent large court fees, or the possibility that your Will is not distributed as you would wish, we would highly recommend writing a Will to give you the assurance that your estate will be distributed as you would like it. Get in touch with us today to discuss writing a Will or reviewing an existing Will.
Cohabitation & Separation Solicitors Glasgow, Coatbridge, Airdrie, Shetland
If you are looking to discuss any legal issues surrounding separation or cohabitation, contact one of our team today. Our solicitors pride ourselves in providing high quality and cost-effective legal advice, and have a strong commitment to achieving positive results for our clients. We tailor solutions specifically to your requirements; delivering cutting-edge advice and skilful court representation where needed. Contact us now via our online contact form, or give us a call on 0141 404 6575.