Pre-nuptials and living together

Moving in together or getting married are commitments that can seem overwhelming. Hugh James offer a range of specialist services designed to support you as you take your next step in your life together.

With more than 50 years’ of experience, the Hugh James family law team has worked with hundreds of couples who are preparing to take the next step in their lives together. From traditional marriages to same sex cohabitation, we have supported a diverse range of clients, ensuring they can embark on their next chapter in complete confidence.

Pre-nuptial agreements in the UK

Most people have heard about pre nuptial or pre marital agreements, probably because of the US’s influence in today’s society. Pre-nuptial agreements are legally binding in America and in parts of Europe.

Although they are currently unenforceable under law in England and Wales, when properly drafted by a specialist family solicitor a pre-nuptial agreement can be persuasive evidence to the court in showing how a couple agreed to split up their property and other assets before the breakdown of their relationship. At the moment judges will consider them as one of the factors to be taken into account. 

Why do couples make a pre-nuptial agreement?

It is impossible to predict the future so, to protect themselves and to achieve more certainty and control over their futures, couples are increasingly requesting pre-nuptial agreements. These agreements ensure that financial issues are already decided in the event that their relationship fails.

Hugh James’s family lawyers can help couples to consider issues such as:

  • How property will be divided?
  • What will happen to bank accounts?
  • How shares and all other assets of value will be divided?
  • Which assets are owned jointly, which are owned solely and by whom?
  • Whether one party will pay maintenance and, if so, how much and for how long?

Cohabitation agreements

A cohabitation agreement works in a similar way to a pre nuptial agreement, outside of the bounds of marriage. There are differences when it comes to pensions, rights to property and inheritances. However, a cohabitation agreement can set out how child support and issues like mortgages and division of assets will be handled in the event of a breakdown of the relationship.

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