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Protecting Assets with a Cohabitation Agreement or Prenuptial Agreement

Most couples planning on getting married are not likely to think about what would happen should the relationship break down. However, with over 7% of marriages or civil partnerships in Kingston upon Thames ending in divorce, putting in place marital agreements like a pre-nuptial agreement (prenup) or post-nuptial agreement (postnup) can give you peace of mind, especially in cases of pre-existing financial assets, or where there are children from a previous relationship.

It is also quite common for couples not to get married but instead sharing the cost of a property and cohabiting. In fact, according to the latest census report, over 20% of families in Kingston are cohabiting with children. In these dynamics, it is vital to understand your legal rights and what legal documents you can put in place to safeguard against costly disputes should you separate from your partner.  

In this blog, our Kingston family law solicitors look at a few statistics from the Kingston Upon Thames 2021 Census and answer some frequently asked questions regarding legal rights for couples, whether married or unmarried.

 

Family Households in Kingston upon Thames: Census 2021

Regarding family life in Kingston upon Thames, recent statistics reveal noteworthy shifts in household structures and marital trends.

According to the latest statistics from the 2021 Census, the family structure of households in Kingston upon Thames has seen significant changes from 2011 to 2021. Notably, the percentage of households with a couple and dependent children increased from 22.3% to 24.1%, bucking the trend observed across England, where it fell from 19.3% to 18.9%. Concurrently, the percentage of households with a couple and no children decreased from 16.9% to 15.8%, while those with a couple and non-dependent children increased from 6.0% to 6.8%.

 

Percentage of households by household composition, Kingston upon Thames: 

 

Source: Office for National Statistics – 2011 Census and Census 2021

 

Legal Considerations for Unmarried Couples in Kingson upon Thames

Despite these shifts in family dynamics, unmarried couples must be aware that, unlike married couples, common-law relationships are not legally recognised in the UK. Subsequently, this means certain rights and responsibilities, such as spousal maintenance and pension claims, do not automatically apply. Property Law and Trusts Law strictly determines financial matters between partners and, if children are involved, the Children Act 1989.

To safeguard against potential disputes, our Kingston upon Thames family law solicitors recommend seeking legal advice and considering documents like a Declaration of Trust or a Cohabitation Agreement.

Find out more about the legal rights and responsibilities of people living with their partner:

Cohabiting Couples Rights

 

Marriage and Civil Partnership Trends in Kingston Upon Thames

In Kingston upon Thames, the 2021 Census indicates a rise in the percentage of people aged 16 and over who are married or in a civil partnership—from 46.2% in 2011 to 47.1% in 2021. This contrasts with the national trend, where the percentage decreased from 46.8% to 44.7%. Notably, the percentage of adults who had never married or registered a civil partnership remained at 39.4%, while those who had divorced or dissolved a civil partnership increased from 6.9% to 7.2%.

It is important to note that these figures encompass same-sex marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships, which were not legally recognised in England and Wales in 2011. However, since 2014, same-sex marriages have been legally recognised, and opposite-sex civil partnerships have been recognised since 2019.

 

Percentage of usual residents aged 16 years and over by legal partnership status, Kingston upon Thames:

 

Source: Office for National Statistics – 2011 Census and Census 2021

 

As family dynamics evolve in Kingston upon Thames, it becomes increasingly vital for couples to stay informed about their legal rights and responsibilities. Whether planning to marry or cohabiting, seeking legal advice and considering living together or pre-marital agreements can provide peace of mind in changing relationships. Our Kingston upon Thames family law experts are here to guide you through the intricacies of family law, ensuring that your rights and assets are protected.

 

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

A pre-nuptial agreement is a formal written agreement entered into by a couple before their marriage or civil partnership (or post-nuptial agreement if signed after marriage). It outlines how their assets and finances would be divided in case of a divorce or dissolution. Currently, pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding in the UK or Wales. However, when correctly drafted, the English courts increasingly recognise their importance, and the circumstances under which they will not be upheld are limited. Pre-nuptial agreements may seem ‘unromantic’ or ‘pessimistic’, but protecting pre-existing financial assets, particularly in cases of significant pre-marital or family wealth or where there are children from a previous relationship, can give you peace of mind. Find out more by reading our previous article:

Kevin Costner’s Divorce Saga: A UK Perspective on Pre-nuptial Agreements

 

Family Law Solicitors Kingston upon Thames

Cohabitation agreements, Pre-nuptial agreements and family law disputes are complex areas of the law and require expert advice. Please get in touch with us on 0330 0250 176 or info@roselegal.co.uk to arrange an initial consultation to discuss the best way forward for you, and we will provide you with further and specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

When entering a marriage, there are other legal documents you should consider. We can also advise on Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, and inheritance tax planning. In the case of business owners, we can offer advice on how to protect the family firm should the marriage not work out.

Our experienced and understanding team are here to help you. We will work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.

 Find out about our Legal Services for Polish speakers here.

This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.

 

Meet the team

Meet the team working for you. Click the photo to view that team members profile or use the button to send them an email.

 

Zubair Dharamsi

Ricki Bansoodeb

Diana Csok

Nikhil Amin

Natasha Mohabir

Portrait image of Marie Cecilia Ferreira, Solicitor at Rose & Rose

Marie-Cecilia Ferreira

Camilla Terpilowska

Ashraf Islam

Clothilde Uy

Clothilde Uy

James Poynor

Polish Speaking Family Law Solicitors in Kingston upon Thames

Kingston and the surrounding areas have become a vibrant hub for the Polish community, which makes invaluable contributions to the local area. However, we recognise that seeking legal advice in a non-native language can be daunting.

At Rose & Rose, we have a team of bilingual solicitors and staff proficient in Polish and English. We aim to bridge the gap between the Polish community living and working in the UK and the UK legal system by providing transparent, robust, and trustworthy legal advice and translation services.

We understand the significance of ensuring the Polish community receives the best possible legal assistance. Contact our Polish speaking lawyers in Kingston today to discuss your family law issues.

This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.

 

Aneta Kapron