The start of a new relationship marks a happy and exciting time and often the beginning of some important life milestones


Moving in together, getting engaged, planning a wedding or civil partnership ceremony and expecting a baby may all be to follow. As you enjoy and cherish the present, you may wish to consider how you and your partner can lay a strong foundation for the relationship to continue growing, and safeguard your family and finances in case any problems arise in the future.

Prettys’ family team’s experience in this area has proven that dialogue is key. The best relationships are those where partners can have frank, open conversations and work through differences whilst listening to each other and reflecting upon their differing opinions without bearing a grudge. This way, you will learn more about your partner at the beginning, enabling you to build a solid foundation and relationship together.

From cohabitation agreements, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements to family business arrangements, our dedicated family lawyers will work closely with you to tailor the best course of action for the individual circumstances of your relationship.  

What Can We Do For You?

Prettys’ family team offers a range of legal services centred around the important things to think about when starting a relationship, such as: 

  • Living together / cohabitation agreements: If you plan to live together and are buying a property together, whether in equal or unequal shares, then you should think about what will happen to your property and any equity if you later separate. This is particularly important where children are involved. The agreement can also set out other important decisions such as childcare arrangements or how to share future significant purchases. Cohabitants are not as protected by law as married couples or those in a civil partnership. Drawing up a cohabitation agreement will formally record who owns what and how assets should be shared if the relationship comes to an end.
  • Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements: If you are engaged or planning a civil partnership or wedding, it is sensible to think about how your assets will become merged. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements can help clarify and safeguard the ownership of assets in case the relationship ends. Although these documents are not yet legally binding in England and Wales, they can be persuasive and offer helpful evidence if properly drafted and signed. There are some specific time requirements and other criteria that need to be met in order for the agreement to be given weight by the court when redistributing assets upon divorce or dissolution. 
  • Family business arrangements: Where wealth and business interests are generated from a family business, it is important to consider how the business will be impacted by a future separation, dissolution or divorce of a director or shareholder. We work closely with our Corporate and Employment teams to protect the integrity of your business in every circumstance. We can also involve the business accountants and any other relevant professionals. The agreed course of action can be built not only into the fabric of the business through partnership or shareholder agreements, but also any living together or pre- or post-nuptial agreements. This way, business interests are preserved into the future. 
  • Statutory declarations for marrying abroad: If you are marrying abroad, you will often be required to provide a statutory declaration for that country confirming your personal details and that you are free to marry. We can help with the drafting of the relevant documents. It is important that you first check with your tour operator, or the relevant embassy, to ensure you understand what detail is needed in your statutory declaration.

To ensure you get the best start to your new relationship, get in touch with our specialist family team today for a free, without obligation chat.  

Please note we do not offer legal aid but are always happy to talk over your case and fees.

Why Choose Prettys?

Appreciating the importance of dialogue, our family team is unique in offering an innovative and creative service known as Talking Works. This service can be used by you and your partner to discuss round table the particulars of your relationship, ensuring that you each get the chance to voice any concerns and clarify what’s important to you. You can instruct a member of the family team to advise you and, rather than taking an adversarial approach, we will invite your partner, and their solicitor if they are using one, to meetings to talk about how to lay a strong legal foundation for your relationship. We work constructively to ensure you are protected because we want your relationship to be as long-lasting as you do.  

If you are in need of legal advice when starting a new relationship, solicitors in Prettys’ specialist family team can help you. Contact us on 01473 232121, complete our contact form or send us an email via familylaw@prettys.co.uk.

Please note we do not offer legal aid but are always happy to talk over your case and fees.

Georgina Rayment
Partner, Head of Family, Mediator
Georgie Hall
Victoria Mayhew
Senior Associate Solicitor, Accredited Mediator