Did You Know? Marriage & Partnership Law Facts

Posted on December 6, 2018
Jefferies Law Marriage

With UK laws adapting to exercise more rights to couples, such as the legalisation of full same-sex marriage in England and Wales, many of us have the legal ability to go ahead with our big day. Laws have also progressed for couples who decide not to marry, with many opting to live together without registering their marriage.

But whether or not you hear those wedding bells, a long relationship is a wonderful experience for many of us. So, as you go ahead with planning a happier and brighter future, a solicitor may be the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t always work out the way we planned, and it’s always worth being aware of your rights in those unexpected situations. Here are some of the matters you should safely keep tucked away in the back of your mind.

Common Law Marriage is a myth

Did you know… there is no such thing as a common law marriage in the UK? Millions of unmarried couples that cohabit could be unaware of their rights when their relationship breaks down. According to research by Resolution in 2013, 69% of MP’s surveyed believed that there is a mistaken belief among couples that live together who think they are legally protected. This means that unmarried couples need more protection in the event of a separation.

At Jefferies Solicitors, we can help unmarried couples protect their interests by entering into a cohabitation agreement. This is a type of agreement reached between a couple who have chosen to live together and want to protect their interests in assets, during the course of their relationship. Our Family Department can advise you on your rights as an unmarried couple and assist you with any concerns.

Legal property differences between cohabitation and marriage

Did you know…there are a lot of differences in the way in which assets are divided between cohabitating couples and married couples? If a marriage ends, as a spouse you will have more rights and entitlements than those that are simply co-habiting together. This is because at present there is no law which governs the relationship of unmarried couples. On the other hand, married couples are able to turn to the specific guidelines set out in the Matrimonial Causes Act, when it comes to dividing the assets.

If you are living together and are unsure of your rights as a partner, you may want to think about contacting a solicitor and getting some advice as to what your rights and entitlements are. Our Conveyancing Department can advise and assist you with property agreements, and exploring different ways of owning a property as a couple. We will be with you every step of the journey and provide a personalised service from start to finish.

There are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

Did you know… as well as a prenup, there is a postnup agreement?

  • A prenuptial agreement is made between two people before marrying or entering into a civil partnership to protect their respective assets in the unfortunate event of separation.
  • Whereas, a postnuptial agreement is a contract created after entering into marriage or civil partnership that outlines the ownership of assets, where it is anticipated that separation is on the horizon.

From prenups to post-nups and cohabitation agreements, our Family Department can advise and assist you with all spectrums of matters.

Re-marriage revokes Wills

Did you know… there is an automatic revocation of existing Wills upon marriage?  Marriage automatically revokes a Will made prior to the date of marriage and the Will becomes completely invalid, unless it is made in contemplation of marriage.

There is much to consider when making a Will in contemplation of marriage or re-marriage. Our Wills Department can advise and assist you in all will matters concerning marriage and re-marriage Wills, as well as Wills in partnership agreements. We can also help you if:

  • You acquire assets in a foreign country or make / amend a foreign Will.
  • You need to provide for children and protecting assets from a former marriage.
  • You need to prepare a Will following the making of a pre or post-nup agreement.

    Experts in marriage & partnership legal matters in Essex

Is it time for you to consider your legal matters? It could save you from facing complications in the future. At Jefferies Solicitors, we have experienced and friendly professionals ready to assist you with all your legal matters whether or not you are married. Get in touch with our team today for more advice or to arrange a consultation on 01702 443 480.

Don’t leave it to fate, be sure to ‘tie the knots’!

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