Cohabitation, Marriage and Civil Partnership

Cohabitation, Marriage and Civil Partnership

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 made changes to the legal consequences of cohabitation such as property rights. In particular it abolished the peculiarly Scottish concept of “marriage by cohabitation and repute” as at 4th May 2006. This is subject to exceptions and we can advise you on whether you might still be able to have your relationship declared a marriage if, for example, it existed before this date and continued beyond.

Pre-nuptial agreements, designed to agree in advance what will happen to assets if a marriage or civil partnership ends prematurely and once thought of as the preserve of the wealthy, are now becoming more mainstream. Again a reflection of the sadly increasing societal trend in relationship breakdown, these can remove a whole layer of dispute and the time and expense associated with it if the worst happens. We can advise on whether one might be appropriate in your circumstances and assist with negotiating and drafting what are also called “ante-nuptial” or “marriage contracts”.

Since the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force throughout the UK, same sex couples have been able to obtain similar recognition of the permanence of their relationship as married couples. We can advise on the requirements to have a civil partnership registered and of the legal effect this will give in areas such as – taxation, pensions, child maintenance and parental responsibility and protection from domestic violence.

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