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Law Society calls for reform of cohabitation law that is 'unfair' to grieving partners

A report completed by The Law Society of Scotland has highlighted that the laws regarding cohabitation are ‘problematic and disadvantageous to vulnerable and grieving people’. In 2011, there were 237,000 cohabiting couples in the UK.

The report published in March entitled, Rights of cohabitants calls for a review of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 in light of these findings.

The current law on cohabitation means that a cohabitant who has lost their partner may only apply to the court in order to inherit from their partner’s estate where their partner has not left a Will.

Furthermore, where a cohabiting couple separates, cohabitants have only one year to make an application to the court, and the surviving cohabitant must make an application to the court within six months of the death. Research indicates that 76% of solicitors believe time limits are a problematic area of Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006

John Kerrigan, a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Trusts and Succession Law Sub-Committee, said:

“We have called for an amendment allowing the court to accept a claim made after the one-year time limit. There are many reasons why a court action may not be raised within one year of separation. Cohabitants may not be aware of their rights, or one or both parties may be suffering from the emotional effects of the relationship breakdown.”

Our Expertise

Family Law Aberdeen is a leading team of family lawyers. We have many years of experience in supporting and advising clients in Aberdeen and surrounding areas. We are highly experienced in all areas of cohabitation agreements and claims so contact our friendly team today to find out how we can help you.

Cohabitation Agreements Aberdeen

For advice on issues surrounding rights for cohabitants, including your rights concerning children and the home where you live, and how we can assist you, please complete our online enquiry form.

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