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This time of year is often marked by new beginnings.  For some couples it can be an engagement, marriage or moving in together whilst other couples may have come to the realisation that their relationship is no longer working.

With many people choosing to marry or remarry later in life they are often coming into their relationships with more wealth than previous generations.  For this reason couples should consider entering into either a pre or post -nuptial agreement to protect their own wealth. For couples moving in together but not marrying a living together agreement helps to make it clear who owns what in relation to the property they live in and how contributions to monthly outgoings are split.  Both these types of agreements help to protect the assets each person brings into the relationship or which they build up during the course of their relationship.

Whilst no guarantee can be given under current law in England and Wales that a court will hold a couple to their pre or post-nuptial agreement, they have become increasingly more persuasive and should be seen as a good insurance policy if someone is entering into a marriage with significant assets.

For couples who have decided to end their relationship then depending on the nature of their relationship they may decide to either separate, divorce, judicially separate or dissolve their relationship. There can be many issues that arise out of a relationship breakdown which may best be dealt with through some form of alternative dispute resolution such as the collaborative process, mediation or arbitration.  Whatever the situation is a good family lawyer will always encourage couples to separate with dignity and avoid a costly and potentially messy court battle, particularly where children are involved.

The family team at Debenhams Ottaway, along with many other family lawyers is supporting the campaign to introduce legislation that would allow no fault divorce without separating couples having to rely on a two year separation by consent petition. Current divorce law is not fit for today’s society.  Many couples simply fall out of love with each other and having to cite blame in the divorce papers often leads to unnecessary arguments and conflicts.

The introduction of no fault divorce will help reduce family conflict and the ongoing impact it has on divorce.  If this is a campaign that you would like to support please contact your local MP and raise the issue with them.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.