Prenuptial, post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial and pre-civil partnership agreements are drawn up by couples who want to make decisions about their financial arrangements if they split up. Prenuptial agreements are not binding in divorces or dissolution of civil partnerships because the court decides on the appropriate way to divide up separating couples’ assets. However, ‘prenups’ are increasingly seen as a significant factor that should take into account. Prenups involve:

  • A full and frank exchange of financial circumstances by the couple
  • Separate independent legal advice for each party
  • Completion of the prenuptial agreement at least 21 days before marriage or civil partnership

Our Bristol-based family lawyers have considerable experience of drafting prenuptial and pre-civil partnership agreements. We will sit down with you, your partner and your legal advisers to ensure that a document is prepared that is acceptable to all.

Postnuptial Agreements

A postnuptial or post-civil partnership agreement is similar to a prenup, except it is drawn up after you have married or held your civil partnership. Again, it sets out what you both want to happen to your property and assets if you split. Our Bristol team is experienced at drafting postnuptial and post-civil partnership agreements and ensure that a document is prepared that is acceptable to both of you.

Cohabitation Agreements

Many couples who are going to live together want to agree about their domestic arrangements and include plans about what to do if the relationship breaks down. As with prenups and post-nuptial agreements, our team in Bristol has extensive experience in drafting cohabitation agreements.

For more information, please get in touch.

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My partner and I have lived together for over a year. Do we have a common-law marriage?

No. Despite what many people believe, there is no such thing as ‘common-law marriage’. If you are living together as a couple, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your partner. There are also ways to minimise the legal and financial problems that may arise if you decide to separate or if one of you dies – contact us for more information about what you can do.

Our home is in my partner’s name. Do I automatically have a share in it because we have children?

No. You have no automatic rights to a share in your partner’s property but you may be allowed to stay in the house until the children grow up if your partner dies or you separate. If you have made a financial contribution to the property, you may also be entitled to a share if your partner dies or you split up.

Our Experts

Philippa Morgan

Philippa Morgan

Head of Family Law

Email: [email protected]

Direct Dial: 0117 904 5923

Iona Phillips

Partner/ Deputy Group Leader: Family Law

Email: [email protected]

Direct Dial: 0117 904 5878

Carol Chrisfield

Family Law Solicitor

Email: [email protected]

Direct Dial: 0117 904 5958

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