Cohabitation Family Law Advice

Cohabitation is when an unmarried couple lives together. Family Law Aberdeen have experience in the legal issues that such couples may face both during their relationship and if that relationship comes to an end.

The Legal Significance of Cohabitation

If you have been living together with another person as a couple, you may be entitled to make certain financial claims if your relationship comes to an end.

  • These rights are not the same as those for married couples.
  • Any award is dependent upon particular circumstances.
  • Any claim must be made in court no later than one year after the cohabitation comes to an end.  This is an important deadline and early advice is essential.
  • The Court may order payment of a capital sum or a periodical payment in respect of care for any children.
  • The law sets out certain rules regarding ownership of household goods, money and property.
  • If your partner has died during your relationship (and while you were still living together), you may be entitled to make certain claims on their estate.
  • You can only make a claim if they died intestate (without a will covering part or all of the estate).
  • Any claim against that estate must be made within 6 months from the date of death.
  • Monies you have already received, for example from a death in service benefit, may be taken into consideration when assessing your claim.

Contact Family Law Aberdeen for Assistance

For advice on issues surrounding rights for cohabitants, including your rights in relation to children and the home where you live, and how we can assist you, please complete our on-line enquiry form, e-mail us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call us on 01224 370 028.

Alternatively, for further information on other family matters on which we can advise, please see our family law services.


The purpose of this website (and each page thereof) is to provide general information about family law in Scotland.  The material is provided for general information only and nothing contained on this website constitutes legal or other professional advice on which the reader may rely for his or her own purposes.  To obtain legal advice, please contact us on the e-mail or telephone number provided.  Ledingham Chalmers LLP is not responsible for any loss which may arise from reliance on material obtained from this website, or any links contained herein.

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