Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements

We can draw up these agreements for people who either want to make decisions about what will happen to their financial arrangements before they get married, or before they start living together. We can also prepare pre-civil partnership agreements, which work in a similar way to prenuptial agreements.

Prenuptial agreements are not yet completely binding in the event of divorce or dissolution of civil partnerships, because the court still retains the ability to change the terms if it is felt that they are in some way unfair.

Prenuptial agreements are increasingly being seen as good evidence of what the parties' intentions were at the time of preparation, and are being enforced by the court in many cases.

In order for us to assist you with the preparation of a prenuptial agreement or pre-civil partnership agreement, we will need to ensure the following:

  • That there is full and honest financial disclosure by both parties to the agreement - so that you both have a clear picture of the other person's financial position
  • Each of you has independent legal advice - this is important so that there is no suggestion of one person being 'bullied' into making an agreement
  • The agreement is completed at least 21 days before the marriage or civil partnership - again, to make sure that neither party to the agreement is being put under unnecessary pressure to sign

A post-nuptial or post-civil partnership agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, but is drawn up after the ceremony of marriage or civil partnership. We have the same requirements in respect of financial disclosure and independent legal advice, and the purpose of the document is to record what you both want to happen to your finances in the event of the relationship coming to an end.

Cohabitation agreements are increasingly used by people who are planning to live together, to make a record of their financial arrangements, and include an outline of what they intend to do if the relationship ends.

The main purpose of all the documents described above is to provide you and your family with greater certainty and security, so that there are fewer surprises or unexpected developments in what can already be a very stressful period.

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