Separation of Cohabiting Couples (Living Together)

Cohabitation generally exists under Scots law when a couple are living together as though they were married or in a civil partnership and, for this, purpose the court takes into account various factors. 

When is a couple considered to be cohabiting in Scotland?

The following factors are relevant and will be taken into consideration by family law courts in Scotland when determining whether or not cohabitation was taking place:-

-    Whether the parties had a sexual relationship;
-    Whether the parties were members of the same household;
-    Whether the parties had children together;
-    Whether the parties appeared to their family and friends as a couple who were married or in a civil partnership or were cohabitants of each other;
-    the nature of the parties’ financial arrangements;
-    the nature of the parties’ relationship

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 has amended much of the relevant law in this area so that the legal rules apply to same sex as well as opposite sex cohabitants.

Legal consequences of cohabiting: Contact our family law solicitors in Rutherglen, Glasgow 

There are various potential legal consequences that can follow as a result of a couple being considered to be cohabiting, including various rights and obligations. These include, but are not limited to the following legal issues:-

- personal effects e.g. for the purpose of obtaining income support, the resources and needs of a cohabiting couple are aggregated;
- property issues e.g. under Section 26 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006, in respect of ownership of household goods, there is a rebuttable presumption that each cohabitant has an equal share in household goods acquired during the period of cohabitation;
- occupation of the family home;
- rights to financial provision where the cohabitation ends - couples are under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 (Section 28) able to apply for a financial award within one year of the date that the couple ceases to cohabit (other than by reason of the death of one of the cohabitees).

Cohabitation Legal Advice Scotland

Based in Rutherglen & Glasgow in Scotland, our family law solicitors have extensive experience in dealing with such family law issues. For in depth legal advice tailored to your situation please telephone 0141 647 9851 and ask for Susan or Esther or you can use our online enquiry form.