The National Records of Scotland continues to record falling numbers of people choosing to get married. In 2016 29,229 marriages were registered compared to 28,767 in 2015, a drop of 462. Figures from previous years show a decline year on year.
This continuing decrease points towards the growing popularity of people choosing to cohabit rather than marry. Whilst there are various reasons for this shift it is important to note that the law applicable to Cohabitants is completely separate from the law relating to Spouses.
Here are a few examples which might surprise you:-
- A Cohabitant has no right to ask for a property to be transferred into their name if they separate.
- A Cohabitant has no right to make a claim on the other’s pension.
- If the property you reside in is not in your name you have no automatic right to continue to stay there if you separate (you would require a court action to secure “Occupancy Rights”).
The above list is not exhaustive but should give you an idea of some of the key differences. Until such time as the law catches up with this shift Cohabitants should ensure that they are as protected as they can be should the worse happen. Get in touch with us to discuss your options.