Before entering a serious relationship such as marriage or a civil partnership you might be considering what you can do about your assets. Even though we hope there will be no breakdown in the relationship it is sensible to prepare for any eventuality.

A prenuptial agreement could be a suitable option if you have substantial assets you want to protect or if there are children involved.

We can advise you on the benefits of prenuptial agreements and ensure the agreement is drafted properly so that it is more likely to be enforceable if needed down the line.


If you are not married or in a civil partnership you do not have any special legal status with your partner. People often think that they are in a ‘common law marriage’ because they have lived together for a period of time. This is not the case and this does not entitle you to make a claim on any asset or for maintenance if the relationship breaks down.

Therefore it is often wise to make a cohabitation agreement. This is a contract between you and your partner which outlines what will happen to property, finances and other assets if the relationship breaks down.

We can advise you on the legal procedures for making a cohabitation agreement as it is a legal document that needs to be signed and witnessed. We will also discuss with you the best course of action and how we can protect your assets if your relationship does break down.

No one wants to think about their relationship coming to an end, however making a cohabitation agreement is a sensible idea to increase the chance of the break up being amicable.


Separation is sometimes used as an alternative to divorce. For example if a couple no longer want to be in a relationship with each other but do not want a divorce. By drawing up a separation agreement this will recognise the separation and will also deal with issues such as property, finance and children. Although the court can overturn the terms in a separation agreement it is still a good base for you and your partner to work from.

For further advice on any of the above agreements please contact our Family Team.

We can offer appointments at our Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough and Sunderland offices.

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