Prenuptials and living together
This part of the site provides legal information and documents relating to Prenuptials and living together. When planning a marriage or partnership, it's difficult to discuss or even think about the possibility that things might not work out. But should the worst happen, our prenuptial and cohabitation agreements can save you and your spouse/partner a great deal of confrontation and heartache.
Prenuptials & cohabitation agreements
This cohabitation agreement protects the interests of an unmarried couple who live together (or plan to) in a home that they rent or which is owned by either or both of them.
This agreement regulates the financial interests of the couple during the relationship and, should it come to an end, deal with issues such as what happens to joint assets, the mutual home and joint bank accounts.
There is no formal legislation making a cohabitation agreement legally enforceable, but as long as it complies with the basic requirements of contract law, a court should recognise it. Therefore, each member of the couple is advised to take independent legal advice before signing this agreement.
Use this document to state what should happen to assets should your marriage or civil partnership end. Although prenuptial/pre-civil partnership agreements are not legally enforceable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, they do carry more weight since the judgement in the Supreme Court case of Radmacher vs Granatino (20 October 2010). Courts should give effect to such agreements when deciding on settlements.
This means that the terms of the agreement should be implemented when certain criteria are met:
- the agreement was entered into freely, voluntarily and without undue pressure;
- both you and your partner fully appreciated its implications and offered full disclosure of all relevant information
- both you and your partner intended the agreement to be effective and to govern the financial implications of divorce/dissolution
- it would be fair to hold the parties to the agreement at the time of the divorce/dissolution.
It is important that each of you take independent legal advice on the agreement before signing it.
If you choose the deed poll option, you can choose to register (enrol) this document with the Royal Courts of Justice. This document will provide the necessary documentation and guidance you need to do this.
You can only use this document if you are 16 years or older.
You can use this to change the name of your child (i.e. under the age of 18), provided that you have parental responsibility for that child. You can't use this document if there is more than one other person with parental responsibility, or if there is only one other person with parental responsibility for but they don't agree to the name change.
This document is only suitable for children who are British (or Commonwealth) citizens and permanently resident in the UK. If your child is aged 16 or over, they'll also need to agree to the change of name by signing in both their new and old names.
Note that if your child is 16 or 17 and are (or has been) married or in a civil partnership, you'll no longer have parental responsibility for that child and you can't use this document.
To use this document you must be 16 or over, and must have it signed by a Notary Public.
Note that you don't need to use this document if:
- you want to update your birth certificate (apply direct to the National Records of Scotland instead)
- your name has changed following marriage/civil partnership or divorce/dissolution
Alternatively, this document is useful if you don't want to change the birth certificate, or haven't yet done it and need evidence in the meantime.
To use this document:
- The child must be under 16
- Everyone with parental responsibilities and rights for the child must agree to the name change
- It must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public