Lead Forensics
Prettys Solicitors Ipswich

Family law

Starting a Relationship

If you are considering moving in with a partner, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer with expertise in both property and family law. Here Prettys looks at some of the legal issues to consider.

I am thinking of living with my partner.  What should I be considering?

The first consideration is normally where to live and how that property is to be funded. Sharing rent is rarely contentious, but matters can become more complicated if one of you owns the property you will live in, or, you purchase a property together in unequal contributions. It is sensible to think ahead and consider what might happen to property and assets if you should unfortunately separate in the future – at that point it may then be too late to protect yourself.

So what problems could arise if we separate in the future?

Firstly, have a look at our Living Together FAQs and our Property Ownership FAQs which sets out the problems that can arise.  Once you understand these, you can think about how to safeguard against them if you do have concerns and if you wish to protect your assets, either for yourself or family members. 

I do want to protect myself; what do I do?

Think about having a Cohabitation Agreement. This is a contractual document intended to be binding upon you both that clarifies who owns the property, in what shares, and how it is to be dealt with if you should separate in the future.  A Cohabitation Agreement can also record who is making what contributions to the outgoings of the property and whether or not those outgoings are intended to give the contributing party a financial interest in the property.

I am getting married but want to protect the assets I am bringing to the marriage.  What should I be thinking about?

You may want to consider a pre-nuptial agreement, and a lawyer can advise you on this. Have a look at our Pre-nuptial Marital Agreements FAQs to consider how you can protect yourself.  Do bear in mind that pre-nups should not be signed any later than 21 days before the ceremony.

What should I do next?

For more information, call the Family Team on 01473 232121, request a call back or email Prettys. You can also speak to our Property Lawyer team. We work with clients in a wide area including Ipswich, Chelmsford, Suffolk and Essex.


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