SCOTTISH FAMILY LAW

Cohabitation

Cohabitation describes a situation where the parties are not married but are living together as if they were man and wife.

It is often thought that if people are not married there are no legal obligations between them.

This is not the case. There are legal obligations, although they are different from the obligations that relate to a couple who are married.

If a cohabiting couple separate one party may have a financial claim against the other depending on whether or not one party is regarded as having gained an advantage as a result of the relationship and the other party as having suffered a disadvantage.

Whether either of the parties has a claim depends on the circumstances of each individual case.

Expert advice should be sought as to whether or not a claim should be made particularly bearing in mind that if a financial claim is not made within a year of separation it could be lost altogether.

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