Cohabitant claims in Scotland
Produced in partnership with Karen Gibbons of Harper Macleod LLP
Cohabitant claims in Scotland

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with Karen Gibbons of Harper Macleod LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cohabitant claims in Scotland
  • Definition of cohabitant
  • Rights in certain household goods
  • Rights in certain money and property
  • Financial provision on separation
  • Application to court by survivor for provision on intestacy
  • Differences between Scotland and England and Wales
  • Pending reform and consultations

This Practice Note provides an introduction to claims that may be made by cohabitants under Scottish law by virtue of the statutory scheme contained in sections 25 to 29 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 (FL(S)A 2006), including claims on separation or death. It considers matters of jurisdiction, orders that may be made by the Scottish courts and the approach to such claims.

For practical guidance on divorce and dissolution in Scotland, see Practice Notes: Scotland—divorce and civil partnership dissolution and Scotland—divorce and civil partnership dissolution—glossary.

See also Practice Notes: Financial provision for spouses and civil partners in Scotland and Private children proceedings in Scotland.

Definition of cohabitant

The definition of cohabitant for the purposes of the statutory framework is that a cohabitant is either member of a couple consisting of:

  1. a man or a woman who are (or were) living together as if they were husband and wife, or

  2. two persons of the same sex who are (or were) living together as if they were civil partners

The court has considerable discretion as to whether the parties are or were cohabitants, and the only direction within FL(S)A 2006 is for the court to consider the following factors:

  1. the length of time the parties lived together

  2. the nature of their relationship during that period, and

  3. the nature and extent of any financial