In terms of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006, a couple who are living together as if they are husband and wife are entitled to make financial claims against one another on separation and death.
Obtaining comprehensive legal advice at the outset is the best way to protect interests and avoid the uncertainty of litigation if the relationship does break down at a later date.
Given the existence of the aforementioned rights, a couple intending to live together can enter into a cohabitation agreement, to make provision for the relationship breaking down or for one of the parties dying.
A claim under the 2006 Act might be avoided if a cohabitation agreement is entered into. Such agreements allow parties to regulate how property, financial and even child-related matters arising from cohabitation can be dealt with on the parties' separation or the death of one of the parties.
Very often, a cohabitation agreement will be prepared to protect investments, particularly if the parties are jointly purchasing a property and they are making unequal contributions towards the purchase price.
In the absence of an agreement, either party may have to resort to potentially lengthy and costly court proceedings in order to try and recover sums spent.
Entering into such agreements may not be romantic but they can dispel fears for some, resulting in a firm foundation for an enduring relationship.
In the event that the relationship breaks down, having such an agreement in place can save unnecessary acrimony and expense for both parties.
Our family law team are experienced in drafting comprehensive agreements and in handling the preparation and negotiation of such agreements in a sensitive and discreet manner.
Our family law team would be happy to assist with the preparation of a cohabitation agreement. To speak to one of our solicitors, please contact us.
I have used Aberdein Considine for many years for numerous personal and commercial property transactions. They have never let me down and I value their advice and guidance on any property matter.
John P.T. Smith, property client
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