Cohabitants are a man and a woman who are living together as if they are married or two individuals of the same gender who are living together as if they are civil partners.
Thinking about moving in with your partner or currently cohabiting ? Call me on 01738 245317 for advice on cohabitation and your legal options as a cohabitant should your relationship break down.
Cohabitants are a man and a woman who are living together as is they are married or two individuals of the same gender who are living together as if they are civil partners.
With the growth in the number of couples choosing to cohabitate, in 2006 the Scottish Parliament passed the Family Law (Scotland) Act which introduced the right for cohabitees to make a claim against the other in the event of the breakdown of their relationship. The right to make a claim also arises on the death of one of the cohabitants
How does the act define cohabitation ? The act considers how long the parties lived together, the nature & substance of their relationship over time and the scope of any financial arrangements between the parties over the course of their relationship.
Section 28 of the act introduced the right for a party to make a claim against the other on separation. The claim may seek a lump sum or a periodic payments. The court, when deciding whether or not to grant an order for a lump sum or periodic payments has to have regard to any economic advantage gained by one party from contributions made by the other party and also have regard to any economic disadvantage suffered by the other in the interests of that party or any child of the relationship.
Whereas cohabitants are now afforded rights & protection under the act, those rights are nowhere near as comprehensive as those rights available under statute to married couples. For example, cohabitants have lower financial awards available to them on separation, no obligation to pay maintenance to either party and restrictions around inheritance.
An application must be made to the court within one year of the end of cohabitation. If the application is not made within this time scale then parties lose the right to take any further action under the act.
If the court is convinced of the merits of your application, the court may order a capital sum to be paid by one cohabitant to another, either in a lump sum or paid in instalments. The court may also order a party to pay a specific sum, which will be used to meet the economic burden borne by one party in taking care of any children of the cohabitants.
A cohabitation agreement allows each party to protect their respective financial positions in the event of the breakdown of their relationship. Such agreements are not the preserve of high net value individuals; in fact it is well worth considering an agreement of this nature if the parties have contributed unequally to the deposit on their home, or if one party funded the deposit outright or are making unequal contributions to the mortgage. A further point to consider would be that title deeds for any property purchased by the couple should reflect the parties respective financial contributions.
We can help you with:-
CONTACT WITH CHILDREN
RESIDENCE OF CHILDREN
PARENTAL RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES
FINANCE PROVISION ON DIVORCE
You can write to us here:-
Louisa J Wade
Family Law Solicitor
2 Ardchoille Park
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Phone: 01738 245317
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