Cohabitation and Nuptial Agreements

To all intents and purposes contrary to popular belief there is no such thing as “Common Law Marriage”. The statutory obligations of mutual support that exist in marriage or Civil Partnership simply do not apply.

Instead the law of property and trusts usually contains the governing principles. SME Solicitors have seen a number of important developments in this area over the last 10-15 years. In that time, SME Solicitors have dealt with various complex cases in this field and have up to date experience of the approach the courts currently take.

Nuptial agreements are freely negotiated contracts designed to give certainty if the parties subsequently separate or divorce. Nuptial agreements require full disclosure of financial positions, freedom from time pressure – so must be done well in advance of any planned marriage – and to have the best chance of success need full access to independent legal advice on both sides.

As a result, nuptial agreements cannot be described as the most romantic of propositions and not least for that reason are not yet particularly popular. However, owing to the approach of the courts their enforceability has improved over the past few years so nuptial agreements must be taken much more seriously now as a possible method of reducing if not completely avoiding disputes. Having said that there are quite strict formalities to be observed if the desired outcome is to be achieved.

SME Solicitors, are able to help you to make sure that all of the relevant areas of concern have been taken into account. That the essential steps to ensure enforceability have been taken in the necessary order and that the provisions are correctly drafted to achieve their objective.

For advice on cohabitation, pre and post nuptial agreements or any other matter, please contact the team at SME Solicitors, today by calling 01905 723561 or email us at

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