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2016 - The Year of the Cohabitation Agreement?

As December comes to an end we tend to look back over the year we have had. 2015 has been a very significant year for Scottish family law as the first same sex marriage ceremonies were held last Hogmanay, showing how much Scottish family life has changed over time. Before the New Year begins we can start to think about what might be the biggest family law trend of 2016.

One of the most significant indications of the direction that modern Scottish family life, and family law, is moving in was the cohabitation information released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this year.

These figures revealed that whilst the married couple family remains the most common type of family in the UK, the cohabiting couple family is the fastest growing. Between 2004 and 2014, the number of cohabiting couple families have grown by just under 30%. The National Records of Scotland reported that marriage rates are still historically low and that more than half of all children born in Scotland are born to unmarried parents.

It is clear that more people than ever before are deciding to live together without getting married. Some people move in with plans to marry in the future and many people never plan to marry at all. With statistics suggesting that this trend is likely to continue into 2016 and beyond, it is essential for cohabiting couples to consider the legal relations they create by living together.

Cohabitation Claims Scotland

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2005 highlighted the changes that have taken place within Scottish family life as the Act brought in significant powers for cohabitants. The Act defines a cohabitant as two people who live together as if they are married. The Act presumes that household goods acquired during the period of cohabitation will be divided equally. The legislation makes it possible for former cohabitants to make a claim. A party to the cohabitation can make a claim upon the other party for economic disadvantage they themselves suffered as a result of the cohabitation and for economic advantage enjoyed by their former partner. The court can also give regard to the cost of bringing up children. These claims can only be made up until one year after the period of cohabitation ended.

Cohabitation Agreements Scotland

More and more people are deciding to enter into a cohabitation agreement. Moving in with someone is an exciting time and the last thing you want to think about is what might happen if your relationship breaks down in the future. However, taking some time to draft a cohabitation agreement now could save you a huge amount of distress in the future. Separation can be made even more difficult if you are fighting over who owns what. There can also be a significant financial benefit as cohabitation claims and court fees can be costly.

A cohabitation agreement is the best way to settle who owns what and what will happen in the event that you separate. Once you have come to an agreement you can put it out of mind and concentrate on enjoying your new life together.

Cohabitation Agreement Lawyers Edinburgh

Family Law Edinburgh are highly experienced in working with couples to draw up a cohabitation agreement. We are a friendly, warm and trusted team of local family lawyers.

Contact out solicitors today on 01313414990 or complete our online enquiry form.

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