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Why You Should Have a Cohabitation Agreement in Place

January 16, 2020 Family Law

Cohabitation is when a couple live together as if husband and wife or as civil partners. In determining whether or not a couple are or have been cohabiting, the court will always consider the length of time in which a couple lived together and the nature of the relationship that was shared during that period of time, in addition to all financial arrangements that existed during the course of the relationship. Although the Family Law (Scotland)_2006 Act introduced a set of basic rights for cohabitants, they are still less protected than married or civilly registered couples.

There is no ‘common law marriage’ that exists in Scotland. Therefore, in keeping with the increasing number of couples that remain unmarried or in a civil partnership whilst still living together for a significant period of time, the law now offers some protection to such couples. There safeguards are therefore advantageous to cohabitants should their relationship breakdown.

A cohabitation agreement can be used by a cohabitant to protect themselves and their assets should their relationship breakdown.. In short, a cohabitation agreement is document that is set out much like contract. It therefore includes the financial aspects of the relationship, the property ownership of the parties, in addition to the division of assets following an agreed separation. Essentially, a cohabitation agreement can ensure that neither party is treated unfairly following separation as the terms have already been discussed by the couple and formally accepted beforehand.

If you wish to enter into a , or wish to seek advice in relation to your rights as a cohabiting couple, contact our specialist family solicitors. We have many years’ experience in dealing with cohabitation issues, and can gladly assist you with your cohabitation agreement.

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