Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements and Cohabitation Agreements

Is a Prenuptial Agreement or Cohabitation Agreement Right For You?

Although prenuptial, postnuptial and cohabitation agreements may seem unromantic, all of these services are arguably the best and most sensible way to ensure that there will be as little conflict as possible over property, money and other assets, should the marriage come to an end.

The team at Cath Karlin Family Law are here to help married or unmarried couples understand the ways to protect your assets before or after entering into a marriage or civil partnership or before moving in together.

Prenuptial Agreement​s

A pre nuptial agreement or pre-civil partnership agreement, also known as a prenup or precip, is a formal and written agreement between two partners prior to their marriage. These agreements are used to provide added protection to you before getting married if you already have pre-established assets. They set out ownership of all belongings, such as money, assets and property and explains how it will be divided should the marriage and relationship breaks and in the event of a divorce.  

Separate property or real estate also plays a big part when it comes to prenups. One of the most common scenarios is that married couples buy a property using assets they owned before. This is, of course, a natural thing to do, but it means that the new property becomes matrimonial, which may come as a shock upon separation and the division of assets

If you have inherited wealth or if you are a bit older and have amassed some property, it is wise to consider a prenup. Even though they are considered pessimistic and unromantic for newly engaged couples, they are a lot more common than you think and they can save you a lot of money in legal fees if you ever do end up separating.

It’s also important to note that whilst prenups aren’t legally binding in England and Wales, they are enforceable in Scotland.

Postnuptial Agreements

Similar to prenups, a post nuptial agreement is a contract made between a married couple or a couple within a civil partnership that sets out how financial assets should be divided in the event of a divorce or separation

A postnup may be decided on for several reasons. People, circumstances and relationships are all prone to change over time and the understanding you had when you first married or even the distribution of your wealth and assets may have evolved over the years. Examples of these scenarios include:

  • A married couple wishes to revise the terms of an existing prenup or precip.
  • A spouse’s employer makes it a condition to them becoming an owner of a business that you exclude the other spouse or civil partner from making a claim on their share.
  • A spouse that inherits assets from their parents may wish to ensure that they’re protected in the event of the separation, divorce or dissolution.

A postnuptial agreement can be a way of providing reassurance by redistributing assets more fairly and by ensuring that neither of you have to worry about your financial future.

Cohabitation Agreements ​

There is a widely misunderstood concept that cohabiting couples have the protection of being in a ‘common law’ marriage. The truth, however, is that if you aren’t married or in a civil partnership, you are not protected and may need a cohabitation agreement to protect your financial future.

A cohabitation agreement enables a cohabiting couple to know exactly what you are entitled to in terms of finances and property should the relationship come to an end. It is essentially a ‘living together agreement’ and whilst it may seem unromantic, it can actually show your partner that our care about having fairness and security for your future together. 

Typically, cohabitation agreements can cover things, such as:

  • Property shares
  • Shared business
  • Settling debts
  • Shared savings
  • Mortgages
  • Family pet custody
  • Pension schemes

Get In Touch Today

Whether you’re thinking about a prenup, postnup or cohabitation agreement, Cath Karlin is a vastly experienced family lawyer and uses this alongside her expertise to assist you however possible. She is familiar with any process and can expertly guide you whatever your situation. 

Her expertise also spans across a number of other services, such as child custody, division of assets, surrogacy cases and expatriate divorce. If you need any advice or would like to arrange an initial consultation, please contact us today by emailing cath@cathkarlinfamilylaw.co.uk or calling 0131 357 1515.

How can I help?

If you’d like to arrange a consultation or find out if I can help you please do get in touch.

Main office call: 0131 357 1515

Direct dial call: 0131 357 1516

cath@cathkarlinfamilylaw.co.uk

Cath Karlin Family Law
15/16 Queen Street
Edinburgh
EH2 1JE