Some couples can feel uncomfortable about discussing financial arrangements for the future. Some feel that to consider the potential breakdown of a relationship whilst still in a happy relationship is negative or unromantic.
However, discussing these aspects of your relationship at the beginning is very sensible and drawing up an agreement can help to determine the practical elements of getting married or living together, as well as giving you both peace of mind.
For couples purchasing a home together, a co-habitation agreement can define who owns what, as well as the day-to-day aspects of sharing ownership of a house such as who is responsible for paying bills and who is responsible for maintaining the property.
A pre-nuptial agreement sets out the parties’ joint intention prior to marriage or civil partnership on how the assets should be divided in the unfortunate event of divorce/dissolution.
Pre-nuptial agreements are used by couples who have assets to protect, particularly where one party has substantially more than the other and their assets are not equal.
Pre-nuptial agreements are not about not trusting your partner, but about providing for the future. They can provide peace of mind but can also save couples a lot of money in the long run.
Until recently pre-nuptial agreements were not recognised in the UK. However, following a high profile case, although pre-nuptial agreements are not cast iron agreements, they do hold significantly more weight than ever before and provided certain formalities are followed and the agreement is considered fair, the courts are likely to recognise them.
If you are getting married and have assets to protect, it is worth seeking professional legal advice. It is recommended that the agreement is entered into at least six months prior to the wedding, so seek early advice.
A solicitor will not be able to advise both of you and therefore you will need to each seek independent legal advice from different law firms.