On 4 May 2006 the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 came into force as a part of Scottish law. The Act has amended Scottish family law as well as provided for a completely new legal framework of financial relations between cohabitants in the event of separation or death of a partner. The introduced scheme is an example of the so-called presumptive (default) model for regulating cohabitation. It deals with financial relations between partners of informal relationships who are living together in a manner prescribed by law. Scottish approach to this problem significantly differs, however, from the legislation adopted in Australia and New Zealand, where informal cohabitants have been given similar rights to those of persons living in formal relationships. The Scottish cohabitation law has mainly a 'compensatory' character, since it is aimed at redressing economic disadvantages suffered by one of the partners during the time of cohabitation.
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