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Fixed Fee Cohabitation Lawyers Scotland

It is commonplace for unmarried couples to live in the same home. This may be in anticipation of marriage or civil partnership, or simply as an alternative long-term living arrangement. Indeed, unmarried partners often have joint bank accounts, shared cars and co-own property.

Cohabitation Agreements: Glasgow Edinburgh Scotland

The law offers a degree of financial protection for cohabiting couples. However, the legal position of unmarried couples still remains more tenuous than that of couples that are married or in a civil partnership. While cohabiting couples have rights under law, these differ substantially from those of married couples. Simplicity is a firm of specialist family lawyers that offers legal advice and services to cohabiting couples on a fixed fee basis.

If a couple are living together, but are not married, they may wish to make a cohabitation agreement. This is essentially a contract between the cohabiting couples. It regulates the affairs of unmarried couples, so that the parties can make arrangements about finances and childcare privately amongst themselves. If a cohabitation agreement exists, it will govern what happens if you separate or if one cohabitee passes away.

Legal Advice on Separation for Unmarried Couples (Cohabiting Partners) Glasgow, Edinburgh 

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 makes some provision for a cohabiting person, where his or her partner dies, or the relationship comes to an end.

In the event of separation, the cohabitee should make an application to the court. The court can order that one partner pays the other a capital sum. This will be the ordered if one partner has faced some form of economic detriment because of the cohabitation or if the other partner has had some form of economic advantage. This may be the case, for example, if one partner has lost earnings, while the other has profited, from the fact that one person was mainly responsible for childcare. Unlike married couples, cohabitees are not required to pay maintenance to their former partners. However, if one partner will remain solely or mainly responsible for any children involved, the court may also make an order for future payments to be paid to cover a proportion of the related costs.

In the event of separation, there are also a number of legal presumptions in favour of cohabitees. Any household goods acquired during the cohabitation will be presumed to be equally owned. This does not, however, include any gifts or inheritance to one party only. In addition, if property is bought with an allowance made by either party for joint household expenses, the court will also presume that this is equally owned. However, this does not include a family home. Moreover, these presumptions can be overturned if there is evidence to the contrary. As such, it is vital that, if you are cohabiting, you seek legal advice before buying a property with your partner. It is also advisable to make arrangements, such as a cohabitation agreement, in relation to any other property.

Your rights on Cohabitation & Death of a Cohabitee: Partner Entitlement in Scotland 

Under some circumstances, a cohabiting partner will be able to make a claim on the estate of a deceased cohabitee. Such a claim must be made within six months of the death. Unlike married couples, who have certain legal entitlements, any provision will be at the discretion of the court. In deciding whether to make an order, the court will consider the nature and duration of the cohabitation, as well as their financial and familial arrangements.

However, a cohabiting partner can only make a claim if the deceased partner has not made a will. Unlike married couples, there is no automatic overriding entitlement if the partner has not included the cohabitee in the will. As such, if no provision has been made for the cohabiting partner, the cohabitee will not be entitled to a share of the deceased’s estate. Again, this is another reason why many cohabiting couples choose to make a cohabitation agreement. The courts have made some indications that such an agreement may override any subsequent will that attempts to cut out a cohabiting partner upon death.

Do I need a Lawyer if I am Cohabiting? Legal Advice for Cohabitees & Cohabitation Agreements Scotland

The legal position of cohabiting couples has improved in recent years, with the relationship now given some degree of recognition under law. However, even with such changes, cohabiting couples remain in a more precarious position than married couples in the event of death or separation. Issues such as child custody and finances should not be left to chance, and require more careful planning. As such, it is advisable that you seek legal advice and services to guarantee that you get the legal solution that reflects the true nature of your relationship.

Simplicity is a firm of specialist family lawyers. As such, all our solicitors have expertise in matters of cohabitation so you can receive legal advice in the knowledge that you are in safe hands. Our lawyers offer clear and practical advice, giving you the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that your legal affairs are in order. In particular, we can give advice on the following:

  • Property ownership and financial concerns for cohabiting couples;
  • Child custody, contact and residence in the event of separation or death;
  • Wills and inheritance in the event of the death of a cohabitee;
  • The legal start and end date of cohabitation.

Based in Glasgow and Edinburgh, our lawyers provide advice to cohabiting couples across Scotland. If it is not convenient to travel to our offices, we have teleconferencing facilities to ensure our services are easily accessible for all our clients.

The solicitors at Simplicity work on a fixed fee basis. This ensures that you will not be surprised by escalating legal fees and is particularly advantageous if are unable to obtain legal aid. If you do not have lots of money to spend of legal services, contact Simplicity for affordable advice.

Contact our Fixed Fee Cohabitation Solicitors Glasgow, Edinburgh, Scotland

For a FREE consultation with our solicitors call us today on 03332020722 or complete our online enquiry form and let us help you.

The law offers a degree of financial protection for cohabiting couples. However, the legal position of unmarried couples still remains more tenuous than that of couples that are married or in a civil partnership. While cohabiting couples have rights under law, these differ substantially from those of married couples. Simplicity is a firm of specialist family lawyers that offers legal advice and services to cohabiting couples on a fixed fee basis.

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