Family Matters - Agreements       01223 415372

In the case of all of the agreements mentioned below, it is essential that they are entered into under each party’s free will, without coercion or duress and that before the document is entered into there has been full and frank disclosure of each party’s assets. It is preferable for both parties to take separate independent legal advice before signing the document.

Prenuptial Agreements

Until recently, prenuptial agreements were disregarded under English Family law. It is the case, however, that more and more weight is being given to these agreements, so long as they have been properly entered into.

Recent case law has shown that a properly executed prenuptial agreement is one of the factors which a Court will take into consideration when deciding how family assets should be divided.

In order for a prenuptial agreement to be given weight, it must be clear that the agreement was entered into freely and with the benefit of full knowledge. It is important that the document is completed in good time before the intended Wedding or Civil Partnership.

Postnuptial Agreements

It is possible to regulate how you intend to share the assets in the event of divorce or dissolution, even after the wedding or civil partnership has taken place. As with prenuptial agreements, a postnuptial agreement will be taken into account by the Court when deciding how family assets should be divided.

Again, it is essential that the document is entered into freely and with the benefit of full knowledge.

Cohabitee Agreements

If you do not wish to marry or to enter into a civil partnership, it is still possible to regulate how you intend to divide assets in the event of separation. As with the above agreements, it is essential to be able to show that the Agreement has been entered into freely and with full knowledge.

Parenting Plans

Parents are being encouraged more than ever to try to agree between them the best arrangements for their children, whether by talking to each other, with the assistance of mediation, collaboratively or through traditional lawyer- led negotiation. When parents are able to reach agreement they are encouraged to have the arrangements formally set out in a Parenting Plan. A Parenting Plan is not an enforceable agreement in the way that a Court Order is, but if the parents have one and find themselves having to make an application to the Court in the future, there is provision on the application form for any Parenting Plan to be attached.

The Parenting Plan can be as detailed as the parents want. It can record where the child will live and how much time the child will be spending with each parent. It can record the names and telephone numbers of, for example, the child’s dentist, doctor, optician, nursery, after-school carer etc so that both parents have a full record of all the important contacts. In essence, the document can record as much, or as little as both parents agree is appropriate.

If you would like legal advice then please call or email our family lawyer, Bridget Giltinane on 01223 415372 or for initial free advice or alternatively to book an initial free appointment.