A lot of the work we do following separation involves trying to resolve differences between the couple involved. At the beginning of a relationship it is unlikely that your first concern would be about how property should be divided in the event that the two people go their separate ways.
Because most people do not particularly want to think about what will happen from a financial perspective when they separate all the negotiations and discussions happen after the separation. This can involve long periods of upset and stress before agreement is reached and in some cases matters will only be finally sorted out if a court action is raised.
To avoid this type of scenario occurring some people enter into an agreement at the beginning of their relationship which sets out what would happen it in the unfortunate event of the relationship breaking down. In effect this will mean there is no dispute because the written agreement, which is called a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, if the parties intend to marry, specifically details how the assets should be divided and it is binding on the two parties and can only be overturned in exceptional circumstances.
By having the foresight to enter into such an agreement a lot of the stress and expense of separation can be avoided. Pre-Nuptial agreements are particularly popular amongst people who have had a previous relationship and want to ensure that assets from that relationship are not included in the matrimonial pot.
If you feel that it might be appropriate to enter into such an agreement, contact us for a chat about this and we can help you decide if it is a good idea or not. One point to note is that both parties to the Pre-Nuptial agreement should receive independent advice from their own solicitor.
If a couple decided not to marry but decide to live together they may wish to consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement to regulate what might happen if their relationship was to end. It is not widely known that if you decide to live with someone and the relationship ends one or other of the parties might have a financial claim.
Some people may want to enter into an agreement that makes it clear that at the end of relationship neither person will have any financial claim against the other. Another reason for entering into a Cohabitation Agreement is that there is a decision to buy a property and one of the parties is contributing more to the deposit than the other. Possibly a parent has provided the money to allow the purchase to go ahead.
Usually in this type of situation the people involved accept that in the event of the relationship breaking down the party who had contributed more should be reimbursed and the Cohabitation Agreement confirms this in binding written form . If you do find yourself in such a situation contact us and we can advise you if a Cohabitation Agreement is a good idea in your case.