Cohabiting

The one where they move in together

The last episode of Friends aired in 2004 and since then, the way in which we live and progress our relationships has changed massively. Can you believe social media wasn’t actually a thing back in 2004 and smartphones were yet to take over the world…
As with so many things that have changed, so has the way in which we live our personal lives. More and more couples are choosing to live with one another prior to entering into marriage or a civil partnership or indeed without entering into either at all.
When Monica and Chandler took the step to move in with one another on Friends, they did not appear to take any legal advice about their situation. This isn’t unusual as many couples do not realise that this decision has legal implications for them whether this is in terms of purchasing a property, making contributions to another’s property or in terms of children of the relationship. Cohabitants have rights under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 and importantly, cohabitants do not have the same rights as married couples or those in civil partnerships.

It is important that you take specialist advice prior to cohabiting or if you’re already cohabiting take advice in respect of your situation and take steps to protect your position. In the event that you are to separate there are strict time limits which apply to any claim which one cohabitant may have against the other and the criteria for any claim is narrow in scope. This area of the law can be very complicated for parties to navigate so it is important to take specialist advice in either situation, whether you are considering cohabiting, or are already living with one another. If you are separating, it is even more important that you take advice as quickly as possible due to the strict one year time limit that applies to raise any claim from your date of separation.

Please call us for further advice on 01383 431 101 or email danielle@caritaslegal.co.uk

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