Cohabitation Agreement

For those moving in or buying property together but not marrying, a cohabitation agreement can be a particularly useful form of insurance. In certain limited circumstances, claims can be made when the relationship of a cohabiting couple ends, either by separation or by the death of one of the parties. If this happens, a cohabitation agreement will be beneficial.

When a cohabiting couple separates, there are certain circumstances where one might be able to make a claim against the other. The rights provided to cohabiting couples under Scottish law aren’t the same as the rights of married couples and whether or not a claim can be made is often a complex and delicate matter. The result is much more likely to be clear cut if you have a cohabitation agreement in place prior to the separation.

If the relationship ends by the death of one of the parties, and that person died intestate, there are situations where the surviving partner might make a claim on the estate. We understand that when a bereavement is involved, it is an emotional time, and we’re here to help you plan so that, if the situation arises, you’re as prepared as you can be.

In this situation, financial needs sometimes need to be dealt with quickly, and the needs of other beneficiaries could be a significant factor. This might include children of the deceased (which may be a child of both parties) and other surviving family. Our experts have the knowledge and experience to guide you through this difficult time.

How we can help

We’ll provide straightforward advice and help you make the right decisions when it comes to drafting your cohabitation agreement.

Although we’ll avoid this outcome where possible, our experts are experienced in representing parties in connection with these kind of claims in court. These cases require an application to be made to court within six months of the date of death (if death occurs) and we provide clear and effective advice to ensure matters are handled efficiently.

Where a cohabiting relationship ends other than by death of one of the parties, claims can be made in certain circumstances. In this situation, we can provide you with an unbiased view on the prospects of successfully pursuing or defending claims, as well as advising on separation agreements where parties are able to agree the financial terms of their separation.

We're here to help

If you’re considering having one drafted, we’d be happy to discuss your situation in greater detail and provide a tailored solution that meets your needs. Contact us.

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