Cohabitation Lawyers in Glasgow

If you are considering moving in with a partner, a cohabitation agreement can protect your rights.

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Cohabitation Rights

It is becoming increasingly common for couples to live together with no intention of entering a marriage or civil partnership. This is known as cohabitating, and in 2006, changes to the Family Law Act in Scotland dictated that couples living together, but not married, should be protected.

What is Cohabitation?

Cohabitation is when a couple live together as if they were married or in a civil partnership. That is, they are in a romantic or sexual relationship. This is what sets cohabitants apart from simply being housemates, and the distinction is an important one when it comes to cohabitation law.

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Cohabitation Law

Cohabitation rights offer certain financial protections for couples who end their cohabitation. This could either be because of a breakdown in the relationship, or because of a death.

When it comes to cohabitation rights, the courts have the power to demand a capital sum be paid from one cohabitant to the other. A court will determine if one of the cohabitants has suffered an economic disadvantage, or one cohabitant has gained financially, because of the other. 

Whilst cohabitants will not have the same rights as couples who are married or in a civil partnership, they are offered some protection, nonetheless. 

When assessing the financial strength of a cohabitants claim, the courts will analyse: 

  • The duration of the relationship.
  • The nature of the relationship. 
  • The financial set-up of the relationship.

Cohabitation law - when can you make a claim?

A financial claim can be made by a cohabitant only once the couple no longer live together, either because of separation or death.


If you are making a financial claim against your (ex) partner, this has to be made within one year, otherwise you will lose your cohabitation rights. The amount of time you cohabitated does not have had to be exceptionally long in order for your claim to be successful. The courts will view each application on a case-by-case basis. However, it is vital that you seek expert legal advice in order to secure the best possible outcome.


Cohabitation rights also apply to partners who have been living together, unmarried, and then one of them dies. You are entitled to make a financial claim, but this must be done within six months of their passing. However, if they have left a will, there is no claim that can be made. If they have dependants, such as children, then your claim may not be as strong. As a result, we recommend appointing an experienced cohabitation lawyer.

Free, no-obligation consultation

Neil Kilcoyne Solicitors offers specialist and expert legal advice to people who are going through divorce and separation, marriage and relationship breakdowns. For a free telephone consultation, call us today.

Cohabitation Agreements

A cohabitation agreement can protect you in the event there is a breakdown in the relationship or one of you passes away. 

They work similarly to prenuptial agreements, in that they are formulated before any problems arise, ideally, before you even start living together. They will formalise the living arrangements and can include details about the finances and childcare. A cohabitation agreement is particularly important if you are buying a house together but are making unequal financial contributions to the purchase price.

We have expertise in other areas of family law, including, divorce, mediation, and separation agreements

At Neil Kilcoyne Solicitors, we offer a comprehensive services to individuals experiencing a family law issue. No matter the situation, we can help.

Contact our team of dedicated lawyers on our 24 hour solicitor helpline to start getting the legal assistance you’re looking for.

With offices based in Glasgow in Scotland, we’re able to get you the help you need, when you need it. Get in touch with a member of our team today to book an appointment or for a free telephone consultation.