For Pre-relationship Agreements
There are a number of common pre-relationship agreements that our clients enter into:
- A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between parties who are contemplating entering into a marriage or civil partnership.
- A cohabitation agreement (sometimes called a ‘Living Together Agreement’) where the parties do not intend to marry or enter a civil partnership but nonetheless recognise that their relationship would benefit from being clear about their respective capital interests and responsibility for living expenses.
- Declarations of Trust in respect of property holdings which can be stand alone or used alongside pre-nuptial agreements or cohabitation agreements.
A prenuptial agreement might be appropriate for you where:-
- There is a significant disparity in wealth or income between you and your partner;
- You have been previously married and want to achieve as much certainty as possible for the financial outcome should your new relationship break down.
- You would like to address a discrete issue that may arise, for example, how an investment in a business should be treated or what should happen to an inheritance.
- You wish to provide for or protect children from your previous relationship.
- You wish to avoid the unpleasantness of a ‘free for all’ on finances after any relationship breakdown;
- You want to avoid the costs and stress involved in trying to decide how assets are divided on separation when objectivity and reason may be in short supply;
- You want to identify the resources to be called upon if challenging issues arise in the relationship, for example, a referral to see a family therapist, or to attend mediation.
A cohabitation agreement might be appropriate for you for all the same reasons listed above for pre-nuptial agreements. Additionally, the relevant law used to determine disputes between cohabitants in relation to the property they own, or an interest claimed in solely owned property, is complex and very expensive to litigate.
We prefer to facilitate pre-relationship agreements using the collaborative model if possible so there can be honest and open discussions, and likely agreements can be reality checked.
We will discuss with you whether you may benefit from the involvement of a family consultant to manage the emotional challenges of negotiating such agreements and ensure your hopefully happy and long lasting relationship starts with strong emotional foundations.