It is now increasingly common for people to enter into Pre-Nuptial Agreements prior to marriage and Cohabitation Agreements either prior to or shortly after the commencement of cohabitation with a partner. Post-Nuptial Agreements are also more popular and enforceable. As the name suggests, a Post-Nuptial Agreement is an agreement entered into after two people have been married and, in many cases, a number of years after marriage.
Many people understand the importance and advisability of such agreements, particularly in situations where one party is in a better financial position than the other party or, indeed, where there are children from previous relationships who need to be protected, financially. Such agreements can certainly be sensible investments. A divorce action which proceeds all the way through court to the final hearing can easily cost many thousands of pounds. An essential part of wedding planning nowadays should be a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in many situations. That allows people to protect properties or other assets that they have before they get married. Such an agreement can often be achieved for less than the price of an average wedding dress and could be worth a great deal in cost savings if things do go wrong.
Of course, the raising of such a subject is not an easy one and requires to be handled with care. To make matters worse, each person should have their own independent legal advice in order to avoid the possibility of challenging the validity of the agreement at a later stage.
There is the option of entering into a Collaborative Agreement. In that situation, each person would consult their own collaboratively trained solicitor and the details of what the pre-nuptial contract is to include would be discussed round the table in a co-operative environment. That would avoid the need for letters back and forward and avoid the possibility of misunderstandings between solicitors or parties. In such a situation, everything is carried out in the presence of the clients. Both clients are encouraged in such a situation to focus on why such a contract is necessary and the positive reasons for having such an agreement in place. It allows both parties to know where they stand, from a financial point of view.
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If you wish to know more about Pre-Nuptial, Post-Nuptial or Cohabitation Agreements please contact Charles Brown. He is also trained in Collaborative Law.