Cohabitation Separation Agreements2020-07-03T17:49:13+00:00

Expert legal help when cohabitation ends

Living together is increasingly common and if the relationship comes to an end it is important that you understand the financial implications. The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 only provides limited claims to co-habitants in situations where the relationship has ended by separation (or death).

If your relationship comes to an end you need to contact us quickly; you must raise any claim in terms of the cohabitant’s rights by the deadline of within one year of the date of separation of the parties.

Separation Agreements for cohabitants differ in many areas to those where the parties are married or in a civil partnership and it is important to be understand exactly what you are entitled to.  Examples include:

  • There can be no claim for maintenance made by one partner from the other
  • No claim for legal transfer of property can be made against a living partner

If a cohabitation relationship ends because a partner dies, claims by the surviving partner are equally limited – clients are often shocked to learn for example that cohabitants can only make a claim on a dead partner’s assets if there is no Will.

The law on cohabitation has taken a number of years to develop and it is still a hugely complex area. If the relationship ends, taking advice, and doing it quickly, are essential.

How much will it cost?

We always provide Bespoke Separation Agreements, tailored to individual circumstances because, in our experience, off the shelf Agreements with fixed price packages rarely result in good value for money. We offer your first meeting with one of our experienced family law solicitors at a fixed-fee of £250, which then allows us to give you an accurate idea of costs for further advice or legal work as required.

As a first step we offer a free 10 minute telephone call with one of our solicitors so please call 0131 622 8477 to discuss how we can help.

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Frequently asked questions to consider…

Cohabitees, or cohabitants, are a couple who lived together in the same property, as if they were a married couple or civil partners. It is usually presumed that the couple eat, sleep and socialise together and for all intents and purposes appear as a committed couple to their network of friends and family.

Absolutely anything that arises as a consequence of you cohabiting with your partner. Matters ranging from who pays for the mortgage, council tax, utilities, repairs, what happens to the rise in equity of a property owned by one party, anything that you and your partner wish to agree.

The time limits in the legislation are strict. If you are out of time to raise your claim, there may be some remedies available to you under the common law. You should seek urgent legal advice on this.

Many couples continue to live in the same property after they separate. Your date of separation is factual: when did you stop living together as a couple? The court will look at a variety of factors including your sleeping arrangements; division of household chores and also how your relationship was viewed by your friends and family.

The best interests of the children are the paramount consideration in law. It is generally considered to be in a child’s best interests to have a strong relationship with both parents. If you and your partner cannot agree the arrangements for care of your children, you can apply to the court to make orders. The court has a special procedure for this by way of private hearings called Child Welfare Hearings which you attend with your solicitor.

The best interests of the children are the paramount consideration in law. It is generally considered to be in a child’s best interests to have a strong relationship with both parents. If you and your partner cannot agree the arrangements for care of your children, you can apply to the court to make orders. The court has a special procedure for this by way of private hearings called Child Welfare Hearings which you attend with your solicitor.

Yes. We can give you a fixed fee quotation once we have established your circumstances.

Yes. It is your property and you have the right to remove it at the end of your relationship.

We do not routinely offer Legal Aid (other than in Guardianships) but if you are eligible you can find details of firms who can help at www.slab.org.uk

Wise words from Beverley

“Post cohabitation rights are complex, claims are time sensitive and limited so it’s important that you receive solid legal advice before it’s too late”

Beverley Johnson

We’re here to help you

Our commitment to provide you with the best possible advice includes a free initial phone call with one of our experts. This allows us to fully prepare for your first meeting which we always offer at a fixed fee rate.

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Why use Johnson Legal Family Law?

We are a team of experts working exclusively in Family Law.   We listen and provide you with the relevant support, knowledge and considered options to allow you to move forward. We are here when you need us and appreciate that may be outside normal office hours.  We work in partnership with you every step of the way.  That’s why:

90% of our work comes from our client recommendations & referral

We can help you right now

Our commitment to provide you with the best possible advice includes a free initial phone call with one of our experts. This allows us to fully prepare for your first meeting which we always offer at a fixed fee rate.

Arrange a Free Call

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Here to help in a full range of family legal matters…

A stitch in time – consider investing in an agreement to reflect what you both want to happen financially, should your relationship come to an end.

Sort it without court costs – these contracts regulate your separation. From your children to financial matters, these allow you to proceed to an undefended divorce.

Sometimes you need smart experienced lawyers to guide you through the complex legal system to help you deal with the end of your marriage, and to ensure a fair division of all matrimonial property.

Your children are your absolute priority so they are our priority too. We can work hard to help you in all disputes about Parental Rights and Responsibilities including residence and contact.

The law offers limited protection for cohabitees, governed by strict rules. We can make sure you receive a fair deal at the end of your relationship.

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