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The rise of the no-nup; prenuptial agreements without the nuptials

19th March 2013

Most adults these days will have heard of prenuptial agreements – the documents negotiated and signed before a wedding to determine how marital property should be divided in the event of a divorce – but many rely on the tenets of family law to ensure fairness in the sharing of assets when a marriage ends.

However, unmarried couples are still not protected in the same way under English and Welsh family law and lawyers and family groups are increasingly concerned that vulnerable people, especially young children and their mothers, are being disadvantaged because the law does not currently protect their interests.

Family lawyers are thankfully seeing an increase in couples who want to negotiate and sign “no-nups” because they know that they have no intention of marrying, but wish to set out what would happen financially if they parted.

Similarly to prenuptial agreements, no-nups are not legally binding and should an unmarried couple go to court in order to decide a disputed financial claim the court will decide the outcome on individual merits of each case. However, a cohabitation agreement can often signify original intent for the couple’s finances and can be useful for the court in making their ruling.

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