Unmarried Couples Rights

Key contacts

Morton Fraser Partner Fiona Sasan
Fiona Sasan
Fiona is an extremely experienced family lawyer and one of our Glasgow based partners. Fiona is also an accredited family law specialist, a ...
0141 274 1107

There can be considerable confusion about the rights of unmarried couples living together (also known as 'cohabitation'). Scots law introduced financial claims for cohabitants a number of years ago, in the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006, although these rights and obligations are still very different to those of married couples. It's therefore very important for cohabitants to take legal advice, and to do so promptly, both at the start and end of their relationship.


How we can help you

At the end of a relationship, claims under the 2006 Act are time-barred one year after separation, so urgent advice is often needed; there may however be other routes for a cohabitant to make a claim, so if things are delayed, sound and comprehensive legal advice can still be very beneficial. At the start of a relationship, you might be considering buying a property with your partner, and if so, you should consider an agreement to regulate that:

It is also possible to have a claim in the Scottish court at the end of a cohabitating relationship if you are living elsewhere, as long as you are still domiciled in Scotland; we are well placed to advise on this, as we have dual-qualified English and Scottish solicitors, as well as international links through the International Academy of Family Lawyers. 

Together with colleagues, we can also assist in considering wills and inheritance; tax planning; and matters relating to children. 

Read some frequently asked questions from cohabiting clients. 

If you'd like to learn about cohabitation agreements, please visit our dedicated page.