What’s a No Nup?

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Whether as a cohabiting couple or two or more friends clubbing together, a cohabitation agreement, or no-nup as they are now becoming known, can help fix the outcome if things go wrong.

That can be particularly important when contributions to buying a property are unequal.  Nowadays, many young people are buying with the help of parents, and there is often a difference in the amount invested by each person, so it is important to agree what share each owner has from the outset.

Many joint buyers who are not married or in a civil partnership still don’t realise that they have little or no protection if things go wrong, believing that they will have similar rights to divorcing couples when it comes to sharing assets or maintenance.

Although property can be held in specified shares, so each gets back their relative contribution if there’s a sale, it doesn’t protect against the other financial contributions that may have been made, and that’s where the no-nup comes in.

This sort of agreement can set out the way property is owned and the contributions being made, including how finances will be managed in the relationship, down to who pays what and on what date.  It can also cover responsibilities for day to day running and managing of the property and what will happen in the event of a split.  As well as being a legally binding agreement which takes away uncertainty, it can help relieve tension about financial matters from the outset, as drawing up the agreement means everything has to be agreed at the start.

Although a lot of people argue these agreements are unromantic, they are also realistic.  Relationships, sadly, come to an end all too frequently.  Surely it is better that you both know where you stand financially in the event of this happening.  This can be especially important if you have children together and there has been a joint decision that one of you works less to take on the role of primary carer of those children.  If you are not married, your ex partner’s responsibilities towards you as the parent of their children are pretty much non-existent – a very different scenario to the one a married couple might find themselves in.  An agreement setting out what your responsibilities towards each other would be if your relationship comes to an end can take away a lot of the stress relationship breakdown causes.

If you would like individual advice regarding a No-nup, please contact a member of the Ashtons team.


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