No-one goes into a marriage or other relationship contemplating that it won’t last. But the reality is that many relationships do come to an end at some point, and it is sometimes difficult for those involved to agree between them what should happen in relation to financial and property matters.
It often helps if, at the outset of the relationship, the parties have achieved a consensus as to what would happen in the event that they separate in the future. This can be set out in a cohabitation agreement, or a pre-nuptial agreement if the parties are to marry.
The agreement doesn’t necessarily bind the parties or the Court if there is still a dispute about what should happen when the parties separate, particularly where certain events occur after the agreement is entered into, such as the advent of children (since the needs of the children will be of paramount importance). But, often, what was agreed at the outset can assist the parties resolve amicably and swiftly what should happen, if they subsequently decide to separate.
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