Cohabitation claim: Selkirk V Chisholm

This latest case highlights the difficulties for former cohabitees seeking a financial claim.  The claim (based on the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006) was unsuccessful as the Pursuer was unable to sh0w she had made any contribution  to (1) the defender's capital or earnning capacity or (2) household costs.

It shows the need for clear evidence regarding financial and non-financial contributions.  The courts seem now to be clarifying the application of the law in the field of claims based on cohabitation (as oppossed to marriage).

In general it is encouraging for those who think people should have the freedom to live together but not be bound by the legal obligations of marriage.

It is discouraging for those who take the view that cohabitees' rights should protect those who cohabit but conduct themselves very much as if married i.e. joint accounts, helping in a joint business venture, contribute capital (i.e. deposit for house) etc.

It's a delicate balance between giving people the freedom to live as they wish and protecting  those who are, at least in financial terms, taken advantage of by their partners.

Tait Macleod Solicitors
6 Park Street
Falkirk. FK1 1UZ.
LP 38 Falkirk
Tel: 01324 88 88 77
Fax: 01324 41 16 07 

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