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Cohabitation to Continue Growing in Popularity in 2016?

Recent studies have shown that cohabitation is one of the most popular living arrangements in the UK and one of the fastest growing family types.

Indeed, at the start of the year, the Office of National Statistics reported that cohabiting couple families grew by 29.7% between 2004 and 2014 making cohabitation the fastest growing type of family in the UK. At the same time, the number of marriages in the UK fell. Ayesha Vardag, one of the highest profile family lawyers in the UK, wrote an article for the The Guardian to warn people about the legal implications of cohabiting. When cohabiting is an important step in life and an exciting time, it is important to ensure you are legally protected when cohabiting, and that you are protected in the future.

Cohabiting in Scotland

The most recent study on cohabitation in the UK found that almost three million couples in the UK were living under such an arrangement. The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 was created due to the significant changes in the living arrangements in the country. The act defines cohabitants as "a man and woman who live together as if they are married or a same-sex couple who live together as if they are civil partners". The 2006 Act allows cohabitants to make financial claims on their former partner for a number of reasons.

A claim can be made such if a partner has gained an economic advantage or suffered an economic loss as a result of cohabitation with a partner. An example of this could be the financial loss such as taking time out to look after children rather than focussing on your career or earning. Claims can also be made to cover the cost of future childcare as well as for other losses. However, such claims can only be made up to one year after the end of the cohabitation.

Legal Protection when Cohabiting

When cohabiting there are some steps you can take to be protected when cohabiting, with a Cohabitation Agreement being the most popular and common type of protection. Such an agreement is essentially a contract between the two parties cohabitating that details what will happen if they split up. While many people believe such an agreement is detrimental, with some stating that it means the relationship will fail, a cohabitation agreement can give you peace of mind when moving in with a partner. It can also ensure that the assets you bring are protected and gives you peace of mind that both parties want to live together for the right reasons.

Cohabitation Agreement and Family Law Experts: Contact Us

If you require legal advice regarding the creation of a cohabitation agreement or if you require any legal advice regarding family law, our team of expert solicitors can help. Get in touch with our team using our online contact form.

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