Can be entered into by couples who are separating and can be binding although it is not possible to oust the jurisdiction of the Court entirely and it is increasingly popular to enter into agreements either before or after marriage. There are drawbacks and the Court would not be bound to follow such an agreement although steps can be taken to try and make sure that such an agreement would be binding. It is for this reason that advice needs to be taken.
Agreements entered into before marriage are known as pre-nuptial agreements and will need both parties to engage in full and frank disclosure of their respective assets and liabilities and have the benefit of independent legal advice.
Post-nuptial agreements come after the marriage but still require the same level of disclosure. Both pre- & post- nuptial agreements can fall to be considered by the Court in dealing with ancillary relief or financial remedy in divorce proceedings as one of the overall circumstances of the case under the Section 25 factors.
Cohabitation Agreements can be entered into by couples living together to set out ownership of property and contents and declaration of intent if they should separate.
Obviously most people embarking on a relationship or moving in together don’t like to detract from the romance of the situation and contemplate that they will ever split but those who have been through the pain of separation or divorce will appreciate the benefits of matters being as clear as possible if things do not work out.
Once you have separated, whether married or cohabiting, you can enter into a separation agreement to set out what you have agreed and we can help negotiate a settlement if need be. Often separating couples do not want to rush into divorce but like to have a degree of certainty about what is going to happen and this is where a written agreement can help. It can incorporate the terms which will form a consent order in due course and it is only when the terms have received the approval of the Court that they become legally binding – although by then the agreement has often been implemented.
Contact us for advice on all aspects of agreements and whether one may be suitable for you.