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Many couples in Scotland live together without being married or in a civil partnership. Although Cohabitation rights in Scotland are considerably fewer than those available to spouses, the law in Scotland does recognise the status of cohabitant relationships and does offer some protections.

The law applies equally to heterosexual or same-sex couples.  Essentially, when you live with a partner, anything you and your partner acquire while cohabiting – apart from money, cars, pets, gifts or anything you inherit – will belong to you both equally.

Our expert Cohabitation solicitors can advise you on every aspect of the law and how it affects you. It is increasingly the case that partners seek to enter into the equivalent of a Prenuptial Agreement. Our specialists have years of experience in drafting such agreements, which are often recommended for those with significant wealth and assets.          

In 2006, the law was changed enabling cohabitants to apply to the court for financial provision on the end of a relationship, although this does not apply if your partner has passed away.  Such claims must be brought within 12 months of the ending of the relationship, subject to one or two exceptions. If your partner has died and there is no will, the surviving cohabitant can apply to the court for a lump sum payment from their partner’s estate. This claim would have to be made within six months from the date of death.   

The court can make an order for payment of a lump sum taking into account whether one cohabitant derived economic advantage from the contributions made by the other, and whether the person making the claim suffered economic disadvantage in the interest of the other cohabitant or any child involved.

The court has to have regard to the extent to which any economic advantage of one party is offset by economic disadvantage suffered by the other or, looking at matters the other way around, whether economic disadvantage suffered by one party is offset by economic advantage derived by that party.

Following a fairly recent Supreme Court decision on cohabitation rights in Scotland, it is now clear that the 2006 legislation providing for cohabitation rights in Scotland is designed to enable the court to correct economic imbalances arising out of cohabitation where parties were quite likely to make contributions or sacrifices without counting the cost or looking for any return.

Call our Expert Cohabitation Lawyers Glasgow, Scotland

If you are thinking about Cohabiting or your Cohabitant relationship is breaking down, don’t delay in seeking expert advice. You will benefit from knowing where you stand from the start. Our expert team of Cohabitation solicitors will advise and represent you every step of the way. We cover Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and all areas of Scotland. Call us on 0141 275 4853 or fill out our online form and we will call you back for a confidential chat. We offer a free, no obligation consultation in the first instance.

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