Family Law

Cohabitation Claims

On Demand


Cohabitation Claims and Unequal Sharing of Matrimonial Property

On Demand

Speaker: Tom Quail


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3hrs CPD

Cohabitation is very much a live issue in that the Scottish Law Commission is undertaking a review of the Act.  The Scottish Law Commission issued, at the end of February 2020, a discussion paper in relation to which responses are invited to be made by the 31st May.  A new Bill will be presented to the Scottish Parliament to reform the present law which has been criticised  for being out of date, unclear and overly complicated.

In sharing matrimonial property on divorce, the default position is that of an equal sharing.  There are essentially six main principles why matrimonial property should be shared unequally in terms of sections 9 and 10 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985.

The seminar will cover both topics and will cover the following issues:-

  • the current legal position on cohabitation and implementation of the case law by the courts;
  • how to pursue a claim under the present cohabitation law and if met with such a claim how to resist such a claim;
  • set out particular criticisms of the present legislation and the specific issues which have been considered for review/updating by the Scottish Law Commission;
  • the principles/reasons why there should be a departure from unequal sharing of matrimonial property on divorce;
  • current judicial thinking/case law and reasons for departing from the 50/50 split - what will work and what will not work;
  • how to construct an argument to persuade an opponent or the court to give your client a greater than 50% share of matrimonial property; and
  • if met with such claims and arguments how to resist such claims.
  •  The talk will be of interest to lawyers who specialise in family law but equally those lawyers for which family law is part of their general practice.

    Tom Quail is Head of the Family Law Group at Wright Johnston and Mackenzie and is a Family Law Expert who has been involved in Family Law at a high level for over 20 years.  Tom is accredited as a specialist in family law, a trained Mediator and a Solicitor Advocate. 

    Tom has spoken at Family Law Conferences over the past 10 years to experienced family lawyers and has had articles published in law journals.  Most recently, Tom had an article published this month in the Journal on the Scottish Law Commission is “Discussion paper on Cohabitation” and also this month had an article published on the online Journal for advice to separating couples in the face of COVID-19 which was co-written with a Clinical Psychologist.