14th February 2013
Valentines Day: the legal implications of taking the next step in your relationship
Traditionally Valentines Day sees an increase in the number of people getting engaged or moving in together. Although not very romantic it is important that couples realise the legal implications of the steps they are taking advises family law specialists at Cartwright King solicitors.
When a couple get married they are entering into an agreement to share their financial circumstances. If one party has more cash in the bank, investments, property or shares in a business, a pre nuptial agreement can help to make it clear how family finances are to be dealt with.
This can be particularly important where there are family assets which are inherited or for example shares in a long standing family business. Also if family are helping with funding the purchase of a house a pre nuptial agreement can help to protect the deposit they have loaned or gifted.
Often parents and grandparents of a couple would like to make sure that in the unfortunate event of a separation the family business or the financial support they have provided would not be compromised by a separation. If a pre nuptial agreement is prepared properly and follows the correct procedure it should be given increasing weight in the event of a separation and divorce. It is important to seek expert advice to ensure the proper procedures are followed for the agreement to be as binding as possible.
When it comes to a couple living together, recent guidance from the courts states that, even where a party is not a legal owner of the property they live in, they can acquire an interest by the conduct of their boyfriend or girlfriend. For example if your partner pays for renovation work to be done on your property and you talk about sharing the house this could lead to your partner acquiring a legal interest in the property. In order to make clear the situation a living together agreement can clearly set out who is to pay for what and what your respective interests in the property are.