LBTT: Divorce v Cohabitation 12th, March , 2024

Divorce v Cohabitation Rooney Family Law

LBTT (Additional Dwelling Supplement): Divorce v Cohabitation

When it comes to the legal recognition of relationships and their dissolution, (Divorce v Cohabitation) legislation often reflects the societal norms and values of the time. The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013 is an example of how laws are adapting to the changing nature of relationships, particularly focusing on the financial implications of the end of a marriage, civil partnership, or cohabitation.

Under the Act, certain transactions related to the dissolution of a marriage or civil partnership are exempt from the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. This exemption is a recognition of the financial upheaval that can accompany the end of such legally recognised relationships. It acknowledges that during these times, individuals are often restructuring their lives and finances, and the exemption is designed to alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with this.

However, the legislation does not explicitly extend these exemptions to cohabiting couples who are not married or in a civil partnership. This highlights a significant gap in the legal recognition of different types of relationships. Cohabiting couples, who may have lived together for years and shared financial commitments akin to those of married couples, find themselves in a different legal landscape when their relationships end.

This discrepancy raises important questions about the evolution of family law and its ability to adapt to modern relationship dynamics. As societal norms shift and more couples choose to cohabit without marrying, the lack of legal recognition for the end of such relationships can lead to complex and often unfair financial and legal challenges.

The current legal framework suggests a clear distinction between relationships that are formally recognised through marriage or civil partnership and those that are not. This distinction can have far-reaching implications, not just in terms of tax exemptions but also in other areas of law, such as property rights, inheritance, and access to social benefits.

The debate around this issue is part of a broader discussion on how the law defines and recognises relationships and families. It touches on themes of equality, fairness, and the role of the state in regulating personal relationships. As society continues to evolve, there is a growing call for the law to catch up and reflect the diversity of modern relationships.

In conclusion, the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013 offers an interesting lens through which to examine the legal recognition of relationships. While it provides necessary relief for those ending a marriage or civil partnership, it also highlights the gaps in protection and recognition for cohabiting couples. This serves as a reminder of the ongoing need to reassess and potentially reform family law to ensure it remains relevant and fair in the face of changing societal norms. Please get in touch if this applies to your situation. “We will be able to help call us on 08007797848 or email at for a free consultation”

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