Cohabitation and Pre/Post Nuptial Agreements
Solicitors

Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements

Prenuptial and cohabitation agreements whilst unromantic are practical, sensible, and designed to protect you in the future should the unmentionable happen.

We do, however, understand that when you are just entering into a relationship discussing its potential breakdown is not only uncomfortable but can also put a strain on you and your partner.

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Drafting prenuptial agreements for your children and finances

People often assume pre-nuptial or co-habitation agreements are purely for finances where there is an imbalance of wealth/assets between you and your partner. This is often the case, but these agreements can also be drawn up to protect children from a previous relationship or for one party to retain control of a business.

With vast experience in drafting prenuptial, precivil and cohabitation agreements we strive to quickly reach agreement on important factors – we advise you when to compromise and when to stand firm. We can carry out negotiations on your behalf and draft the agreement in a way that minimises the risk of the court, in the event of relationship breakdown, departing from the agreed terms. We can advise you also on the benefits of entering into a postnuptial or post civil partnership agreement and can negotiate and draft this for you.

A prenuptial or cohabitation agreement normally covers the family home and contents, personal assets such as cars, art, musical instruments, pensions and income provision and whether one of you will pay the other maintenance. It can also cover financial arrangements for children, day to day living costs, school fees etc as well as practical arrangements such as who the children will live with and where they go to school.

Prenuptial agreements are not always legally binding in the UK, but the courts would only not uphold one if the agreement was considered unfair or didn’t address the current needs of an individual or there was a conflict with the needs of children from the marriage.

Although people often refer to cohabiting couples as common law spouses, the law in England & Wales does not recognise common law husbands or common law wives. Cohabitees do not have the same legal obligations towards each other that marriage or civil partnership brings. If, for example your partner owns the property you live in: they bought it many years ago in their name, and they pay the mortgage but you pay for everything else you would still have little or no claim on the house.

If you had been married or in a civil partnership (with the same arrangements as to mortgage payments and other household expenditure), the court (depending on circumstances) would have wider powers to redistribute the equity in the family home between you and your partner.

Yes, if a couple is married or in a civil partnership when their child is born, both parents automatically have parental responsibility. However, if you are unmarried when your child is born, the father only has parental responsibility if he is named on the child’s birth certificate, or enters into a formal parental responsibility (PR) agreement with the mother (this requires registration) or if the court orders it.

A cohabitation agreement can ensure that if your relationship breaks down, you and your partner share responsibility (including the financial cost) for your children.

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    A Cohabitation Agreement

    A cohabitation agreement (sometimes termed “no-nup”) is a legally binding agreement between two people who live together (cohabit) without getting married or entering a civil partnership agreement. It sets out how your finances (capital and income, assets and liabilities) are to be dealt with if you separate, and is an important means of safeguarding your financial position in case your relationship breaks down.

    A Prenuptial or Pre-civil Partnership Agreement

    A prenuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement is an agreement reached between two people before they get married or enter a civil partnership, setting out how they would like their finances to be dealt with if the relationship breaks down. When the court in England & Wales makes a financial order on divorce or dissolution of civil partnership, it has a wide discretion as to the terms of the order. A prenuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement sets out the terms you would like the court to make.

    A Postnuptial Agreement

    A post-nuptial agreement can take place after a the marriage or civil partnership has taken place. Just like the pre-nuptial agreement, the post-nup is designed to record the agreement the couple has reached in regard to finances, assets, child arrangements etc should the relationship break down.

    We’re here to support your next step

    Request a video call, phone call or an in-person meeting

    “Kidd Rapinet’s approach to helping me create a prenuptial agreement was both sensible and sensitive. I was dreading it, but they made the process much quicker and smoother than I expected.”
    Prenuptial agreement client, Marlow
    Cameron KinrossCohabitation and Pre/Post Nuptial Agreements