The recent ‘stamp duty holiday’ may have prompted many couples to buy their first home together.  However, they may be unaware of the potential legal consequences for them.  Contrary to popular belief, common law marriage no longer exists in Scotland.  This means if they were to separate either one could make a claim against the other for up to a year after their separation. 

Moving in with a partner is an exciting time, but it is wise to consider financial and other implications.  Whilst not very romantic, it is important to understand what your rights and obligations may be if things do go wrong.

Before setting up home together, it is worthwhile entering into a Cohabitation Agreement which clarify a number of matters including:

  • Who has paid what in terms of a deposit and how this should be dealt with should you sell or separate.
  • Who contributes what to the household  bills and mortgage (e.g. are  they equally split?).
  • If you separate, how would you divide your assets?
  • Precluding any claims being made by either party in the event of a separation.

Cohabitation Agreements are also useful if parents are providing or contributing to the deposit. The clarity regarding who contributed and to what level safeguards their investment in the event of a separation.

Whilst it may feel like an awkward conversation with your partner, a discussion now may prevent difficult financial claims later. Cohabitation Agreements can help prevent expensive and protracted litigation, and also offer peace of mind for both of you.

For further information about Cohabitation Agreements or any Family Law matter, contact us here at

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