When The Family Law Scotland Act 2006 came into force it abolished the ability for couples to begin to establish marriage by way of cohabitation with habit and repute. Despite that being some 14 years ago I still, every so often, come across someone who believes that they have a “common law marriage.”
The Scottish Law Commission has launched a consultation seeking views on whether the law of cohabitation should be reformed.
The number of cohabiting families in the UK has almost doubled in the last twenty years. This may be explained by an increasing trend to cohabit rather than marry or cohabit for a period before marrying. Scotland led the way within the UK by introducing certain legal protections for cohabitants in 2006. This legislation was designed to protect cohabitants from unfair situations arising both in the event of separation or death.