Daily Archives: 2nd August 2018

Cohabitation Agreements

In our modern society, more and more couples are living together before marriage or choose not to get married at all.

Unfortunately, cohabiting couples are not afforded the same or even similar legal protection as married couples and it’s therefore important to plan for any future bumps in the road.

Cohabitation agreements can assist couples in amicably deciding how property should be divided if the relationship breaks down.

What is a Cohabitation agreement?

The cohabitation agreement is a form of legal agreement reached between couples who have chosen to live together. In some ways, such a couple may be treated like a married couple, such as when applying for a mortgage or working out child support. However, in some other areas, such as property rights, pensions and inheritance, they are treated differently.

Why a cohabitation agreement is essential for non-married couples?

Unmarried couples have no legal rights if they separate – so without an agreement, one of them could be left with nothing.

The unfortunate truth is that relationships can go wrong. In the event of separation, unmarried couples have very little legal protection.  Cohabitation agreements set out what should happen in the event of separation.  In this way, they can help to significantly reduce the costs of dealing with separation in terms of time, stress and money during what can be a difficult time.

 

Content of cohabitation agreement

A cohabitation agreement can consist of the following (but its total couple’s decision which of these, and other, matters that they would like to cover)

  • Who owns your home, the shares in which you own it and the amount that you each contributed;
  • who will pay bills such as the mortgage, utilities, house maintenance and renovation work, food and general living costs and the effect, if any, such payments will have on ownership of the property;
  • If there are any endowment policies or other savings or investments, who is going to pay for those and how they will distribute on separation;
  • Who is going to pay for any life insurance policies and how these are going to distribute on separation;
  • if there is a joint bank account, how much will you each contribute to it and what will happen to it on separation;
  • Whether you will nominate each other for death in service benefits for your pensions, if any;
  • If you wish to make preparations to cover death than these should be confirmed through a will;
  • You can deal with personal belongings by establishing out who owns which particular item and who will pay and own future items
  • If either of you has received or expect to get gifts or inheritances, the agreement can refer to those and make preparations as to their future ownership;
  • If parents lend money to assist with a house purchase, who will be responsible for repaying the loan.

Contact us for legal advice regarding Cohabitation Agreements

If you would like advice or assistance in relation to cohabitation agreements contact one of our solicitors on 01206 500181

 

Consent Order

Separation is not easy for anyone, and sometimes the mention of the word court can cause tension and anxiety, and may pointlessly intensify the situation further.The very first thing one needs to understand is that the divorce simply deals with the ending of the marriage and it does not cover finances or your parenting arrangements.  That’s why consent order is essential.

What is a consent order?

A consent order is an order made during in divorce proceedings, where both parties have agreed their financial settlement and consent to an order being made without the need for a court hearing. The order can also include details on spousal and/or child maintenance arrangements, which enables the family court to enforce these if the maintenance is not paid.

Is Consent Order legally binding?

A consent order is a legal document that has to be drafted by an experienced legal professional to become legally binding. You need to get a solicitor to draft a ‘consent order’ and ask a court to approve it – this makes it legally binding. The order becomes legally binding when the Decree Absolute has been granted in the divorce proceedings.

A consent order is a legal document that confirms your agreement. It explains how you’re going to divide up assets like:

  • money
  • property
  • savings
  • investments

It can also include arrangements for maintenance payments, including child maintenance.

Consent Order court approval

There’s usually no court hearing. A judge will approve your consent order to make it legally binding if they think it’s fair.

If they do not think its fair, they can:

  • change your consent order
  • make a new court order to tell you how to divide your money and property

Why should I get a consent order?

It is always sensible to draw a line in the sand when it comes to splitting your financial matters in a divorce. If no order has been made then, unless they have remarried, either party can go to the court and make a financial claim against the other, even years after the divorce took place.

And if one party does not keep to the terms of the settlement the other party will need to ask the court to take steps to enforce the settlement, but the court can only take enforcement action if the settlement has been incorporated into a court order.

Contact Us for Legal Advice regarding the Consent Order

 

Consent Orders are such binding documents and so difficult to revise, it is crucial that each party receives proper advice before agreeing to terms of the settlement, and then the document is professionally drafted to certify all the necessary terms are included in suitable terms.

There are specific rules as to how a consent order should be drafted and what can and cannot be included in one and we can advise you in this regard.

To discuss your options in relation to obtaining a consent order please contact our solicitors on 01206 500181.

Dissolution of Civil Partnerships

To obtain a Civil Partnership dissolution, you must have been in a registered Civil Partnership for at least 12 months. The law around Civil Partnership Dissolution is actually very similar to that relating to divorce – if you are looking at ending a civil partnership, or would like more information on how to dissolve a civil partnership, we can help, just give one of our solicitors a call on 01206 500181

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements can create certainty for those contemplating marriage and can be a means of protecting assets owned before the marriage, inheritance, and existing family commitments such as children from a previous relationship or marriage.

A prenuptial agreement is a formal document in which a couple set out their rights and intentions in relation to any property, income, savings, debts and other assets either purchased together or acquired individually.

Once individuals get married these assets become matrimonial assets and, unless specifically protected, are thrown into a single financial pot. The primary purpose of a prenuptial agreement will often be to limit the potential claims on the wealth and assets of one of the parties to the marriage.

If you would like advice or assistance in relation to prenuptial agreements give one of our solicitors a call on 01206 500181