For many couples Valentine’s Day is a day for reflecting on, and celebrating, their relationship. Many couples will also change their relationship status – that could be by moving in together or becoming engaged. These momentous occasions are very exciting but also have legal consequences that couples should be aware of.
What does cohabiting mean?
Cohabitants are defined by s.25 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 as “a man and a woman who are (or were) living together as if they were husband and wife or two persons of the same sex who are (or were) living together as if they were civil partners”. Further, in terms of s.25, when determining if someone is a cohabitant, the court will consider “the length of the period during which the parties have been living together (or lived together), the nature of their relationship during that period, and the nature and extent of any financial arrangements subsisting, or which subsisted, during that period.”