What are Cohabitation Rights?

Cohabitation rights refer to the legal rights that apply to couples who live together but are not married or in a civil partnership. While these rights are not as extensive as those afforded to married couples, they are still significant and can have a substantial impact on your financial and personal circumstances.

Cohabitation Agreements

One way to clarify and protect your rights as a cohabiting couple is by creating a cohabitation agreement. Similar to prenuptial agreements for married couples, a cohabitation agreement is a legal document for unmarried partners, which outlines your rights and responsibilities while living together and regulates the division of assets and debts belonging to the couple, jointly or individually, on separation. Our team are experienced in the drafting of cohabitation agreements and can assist you in drafting a comprehensive cohabitation agreement tailored to your specific circumstances.



Understanding property ownership rights is essential for cohabiting couples. Whether you own a property jointly or individually can have significant implications for your legal rights. Our team are experienced in matters relating to cohabitation and can provide clarity on property ownership rights and help you protect your interests in the event of separation or death.

Parental Rights

and Responsibilities

For cohabiting couples with children together, understanding parental rights and responsibilities is crucial. Our family law solicitors can provide guidance on parental rights and responsibilities to ensure you are fully advised in this regard.

Cohabiting Couples

and Inheritance

Unlike married couples, cohabiting couples do not have automatic inheritance rights in Scotland. If you were cohabiting with a partner when they died, and they did not have a Will, you may have a claim on their estate.  Our skilled team will be able to advise and guide you through this complex area of the Law.

Expert Legal Advice

Navigating cohabitation rights can be complex, but you don't have to do it alone. Our experienced team of family law solicitors are here to provide expert legal advice and support every step of the way. Contact Drummond Miller today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following information answers a few of the most commonly asked questions we are asked relating to cohabitation rights. Our Family Law team are experts in handling all kinds of enquiries, please contact us to discuss your case.


Cohabitation is a situation where a man and a woman, or two persons of the same sex, are (or were) living together as if they were husband and wife or civil partners.  

The 2006 Act sets out the law relating to financial provision for cohabiting couples who have separated. The court can make an award of a capital sum payment where one cohabitant has, during the cohabitation, been financially advantaged to the other cohabitant’s financial disadvantage. 

If a cohabitant dies and has not left a Will, the surviving cohabitant will not automatically be entitled to receive any proceeds from their estate. The 2006 Act allows the surviving cohabitant to make an application to the court for payment of a capital sum or transfer of property from the estate. 

A cohabitation agreement entered into prior to (or during) the cohabitation can provide certainty and security in the event of a future separation. Your rights are limited without one, and you may have to enter a stressful and costly legal battle for financial provision if your relationship breaks down. 

Get the best legal advice

Drummond Miller are extremely experienced in negotiating settlements for all types of clients following their separation, and in advising on what you may be entitled to by law. For more information about the services we offer in this area, please get in touch. We have offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bathgate, Dalkeith and Musselburgh and we will be happy to discuss your situation and options with you. 

We’re here to help you take the next step.
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