Negotiated agreements whilst living together

It is becoming increasingly common for people to consider during a relationship what may occur in the event of a separation. Our team can advise you on the best way to protect assets owned prior to the breakdown of a relationship.

Pre and post-nuptial agreements

Nuptial agreements, both pre and post, are entered into voluntarily. Whilst the agreements are not legally binding under English law, decisions in recent English cases show a significant change with courts now giving greater weight to nuptial agreements. The courts have acknowledged the need for adults to be able to regulate their financial affairs by agreement, including making provision in the event of a possible divorce.

When making the decision about whether an agreement should be upheld, the court may consider whether:

  • the agreement has been entered into in good faith and whether one party has felt under duress or undue influence
  • both parties have had the benefit of Independent legal advice
  • both parties have produced full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances
  • in the case of a pre-nuptial agreement, the agreement has been made no fewer than 28 days prior to the marriage
  • one party’s circumstances have significantly changed since the agreement was entered into

Cohabitation agreements

There is a popular misconception by people who think that after living together with their partner for a few years, they become “common law husband and wife” and enjoy the same rights as married couples. This is not the case. There is no such concept as “common law marriage”.

As with nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements are not currently binding under English law and the courts will consider the same points as above when deciding whether such an agreement should be upheld (with the exception of the point on the timing of a pre-nuptial agreement).

If you need more information regarding pre-nuptial, post-nuptial or cohabitation agreements, our expert team of family law solicitors can help.

Get in touch

Contact our family team for further information on nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements.

Contact the team below, or alternatively call on +44 (0)116 262 4225

Get in touch

We’re situated in the heart of Leicester’s commercial quarter, just minutes from the city centre. Get in touch with any queries you have, or alternatively, call us on 0116 262 4225.

Get in touch