Pre Nuptial Agreements & Cohabitation Agreements
When someone enters into a new relationship, gets married, has children and buys assets with their partner the last thing they think about is separation or divorce. The same is true for parties who continue to be married. Notwithstanding a marriage or cohabitation is a union of two often independently minded people who will not always agree on what their rights and responsibilities upon the breakdown of the relationship is.
We encourage our clients to consider pre-nuptial or cohabitation agreements to ensure that they protect themselves, their children and their assets. If one of our clients finds that the way they handle their financial affairs differs significantly from the other spouse but they wish to continue in their marriage or cohabitation we often recommend post-nuptial agreements which address the agreement on issues of dispute.
Pre-nuptial, cohabitation and post-nuptial agreements are most effective in protecting property and are best in addressing the dissolution of a short-term relationship. These types of agreements are lest effective in relation to rights and obligations concerning children.
No matter what type of an agreement is required, at a minimum the parties must:
- enter into the agreement voluntarily;
- With full knowledge of the circumstances including the full financial disclosure of both parties; and
- Obtained truly independent legal advice from legal counsel.