Pre and post nuptial agreements and cohabitation

Pre and post nuptial agreements and pre and post civil partnership agreements

If you are about to, or have recently married or entered a civil partnership and have assets you may wish to protect, as well as wanting to set out in advance what might happen should you separate or divorce in the future, then a pre or post nuptial Agreement drafted by our family lawyers could be for you.

  • Sensitivity and tact – this is a difficult subject to bring up when you are entering into a hopefully permanent relationship.  We can help you explain the advantages and how to focus on the positives.
  • Experience – while these agreements are fairly new to the UK, we have been preparing them for our clients for over 3 years.
  • Expertise - Courts will now consider these agreements in deciding the division of assets on divorce and separation, but usually only if the agreement has been properly and professionally drawn up.

Unmarried couples living together

The law treats unmarried couples very differently to married couples and there is no such thing as a ‘common law’ husband or wife.There is in fact little or no legal protection for cohabitants if they separate.

If you live with your partner, or are planning to live with your partner, you can help to protect your interests by entering into a cohabitation agreement (also known as a living together agreement).  A cohabitation agreement sets out your clear intentions as to all matters which could ultimately give rise to a dispute if the relationship fails. Such an agreement is a sensible way to approach a huge commitment.The agreement would include making provision for;

  • Financial Assets
    We can advise unmarried couples on how to divide assets, such as a jointly owned property if an agreement cannot be reached. It may be that the property is in your sole name but your partner may still have an interest. On the other hand an interest will not be acquired simply by living there. If different contributions are made to a property there may need to be a Declaration of Trust to protect those contributions.

If you or your partner have children, claims can be brought on their behalf to help provide for them financially, in addition to what would be awarded in terms of child support by the Child Maintenance Service but such proceedings can be complex and expensive so agreement is always preferable.

A cohabitant has no right to financial support from the other for themselves.

    • Children
      Depending on the age of the child you may not automatically have parental responsibility for that child if you were not married to the mother. If you separate, this may become an issue that needs to be addressed to enable you to remain fully involved and consulted in the child’s life.

      Our family solicitors can also advise and help you to secure agreements in relation to the children, such as where they live, how much they see you or your partner and other specific issues, such as schooling, medical or religious issues.
    •  Wills
      This is another area that needs consideration when you are not married. Your cohabiting partner will not be your next of kin and will not benefit from your estate unless specifically provided for in your Will. Our private client team can help make the appropriate provision for your circumstances and work closely with our family solicitors.

 Call us free without obligation

Please telephone and speak to one of our specialist pre-nuptial family lawyers free on 0800 037 1625 or fill in the online form to request a call back and someone will call you within 24 hours

You can access any of our lawyers at any of our offices spread throughout Surrey and Greater London including Kingston upon Thames, Cheam, Canary Wharf, Leatherhead, Raynes Park, Surbiton, Tolworth or Walton on Thames.