Pre and Post Nuptial and Cohabitation Agreements

What is a ‘prenup’?

A prenuptial agreement, often known as a ‘prenup’, is a contract between two people prior to their marriage, which sets out how their assets will be managed in the event of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements are for couples who are already married. Prenups are not strictly legally binding, but if the agreement was entered into freely by each party and with a full appreciation of the implications, then the courts will usually uphold the terms unless it would be unfair to do so. The courts may take into consideration whether each party received independent legal advice, so it is advisable to speak to a prenuptial agreement solicitor before signing an agreement.

If you are in a civil partnership or intending to register one, these agreements are called pre-partnership or post-partnership agreements, but the principles are the same. We can provide advice for civil partners and same sex married couples, who have fewer rights than their opposite sex counterparts, especially in relation to pensions and in terms of recognition abroad including during holidays.

What is a cohabitation agreement?

Cohabitation agreements are for couples who live together but aren’t married. Cohabiting couples have fewer rights under law than married couples (there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’), so a cohabitation agreement can be a sensible way to set out your financial arrangements and avoid disputes in the future. Cohabitation agreements can be legally enforceable as long as they comply with the requirements of contract law.

Unmarried but engaged couples, and those intending to register a Civil Partnership, do have a few extra rights and we can provide advice as required.

We’re here to help

If you are considering entering into a formal contract with your partner, consulting one of our specialist prenuptial agreement solicitors will help you to be sure you are making the best choice for yourself and your relationship, and will give your agreement the best chance of being upheld in the event of a future dispute.

If you are finding it tricky to agree what to include in your prenuptial agreement, partnership agreement or cohabitation agreement, we can also offer Collaborative Family Law as a great way to get round the table with your other half and their solicitor to ensure you can work out and agree various possible scenarios together.

A named member of our Exeter based family & relationships team will deal with your case from start to finish. You will be given clear and focused advice throughout your case including guidance about your position and how much the work will cost. We will keep you fully informed about each stage and any outcomes.

Please direct any initial enquiries to Mark Fairchild, Family Team Administrator.

The Team
Anita Laws
Anita Laws

Chartered Legal Executive

Mark Fairchild
Mark Fairchild


Amy Jeffery
Amy Jeffery

Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

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