Family law is a particularly complicated area of law and it can sometimes be difficult to know where you stand. Often clients come to us unsure of what their rights are and what they are entitled to.
This is particularly common when it comes to cohabitation. When couples who have been cohabiting separate, they may not be clear about how they are protected. Below we outline some key elements of the law in this area. However, if you have any questions concerning cohabitation, please do not hesitate to get in touch. One of our dedicated, knowledgeable family law team will be delighted to assist.
What are my rights?
The relevant law in this area is the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006. This Act defines who is a cohabitant. In short, a cohabitant means either member of a couple consisting of a man and a woman who are (or were) living together as if they were husband and wife; or two persons of the same sex who are (or were) living together as if they were civil partners. In deciding whether someone is a cohabitant, the court will take into account the length of the period during which the couple lived together, the nature of their relationship and the nature and extent of any financial arrangements which exist or existed during that period.
Under the Act, cohabitants who separate have certain rights. For example, there is a rebuttable presumption that each cohabitant has a right to an equal share in household goods acquired during the period of cohabitation. Under section 28 of the Act, it is also possible to make a claim for financial provision, which may include applying to the court for an order requiring the other cohabitant to pay a sum of money. The Court will consider whether the other cohabitant has derived economic advantage from contributions made by the applicant and whether the applicant has suffered an economic disadvantage in the interests of the defender or any relevant child.
It must be noted that this area of law is complex and there are many hurdles to overcome to satisfy the tests built into the legislation. This is why it is crucial that you have high-quality legal advice from the outset, to protect your interests and offer tailored advice particular to your circumstances.
Contact our Cohabitation Lawyers in Aberdeen & Edinburgh
At Andersonbain, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate this area of law without support. We are here to help.
If you need advice on family law including divorce, dissolution, pre and post-nuptial agreements and child law, contact us today. Our expert team of family law solicitors are on hand to help you on 01224 456 789 (Aberdeen), 0131 228 2000 (Edinburgh) or complete our online contact form.