The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 provides limited financial provision for unmarried cohabitants whose relationships end by reason of breakdown or death. However, this does not put cohabitants on the same footing as married couples. There are important time limits to meet in making a claim, either on separation or death, so it is essential that you seek advice in these circumstances as soon as possible. Where a claim is made on separation, it must also be shown that the applicant has suffered economic disadvantage to the advantage of the other party or of any child of the relationship and/or the other party has derived economic advantage from contributions made by the person applying for the order. There is no automatic entitlement to share in the capital assets accrued during the period of cohabitation. Neither can an award for maintenance be made or an order granted for transfer of the property.
If you are cohabiting or are about to cohabit, you should consider entering into a cohabitation agreement setting out what you both want to happen in the event that you separate. If you are about to buy a house to live in together and are not married or civil partners and one of you is putting in more by way of a deposit, then this should be covered in the agreement. Our divorce lawyers in Glasgow can help you consider the various issues which you should think about including in such an agreement.
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