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Divorce and family law explained 

Legal implications of marriage

Many people can forget that as well as being an emotional union of a couple, marriage is also a legally binding contract. That means that once a couple say “I do”, they are bound to each other under law as well as in the eyes of their family and friends.

It is important to remember this when considering dissolving a marriage to ensure you are fully aware of all the implications and issues that may need to be addressed.

When a couple get married, their assets are considered to be joint assets or liabilities. Once married, a partner can take on some responsibility for, or relinquish some control over, many things. These can include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Property
  • Savings
  • Pension funds
  • Debts
  • Inherited wealth

If a couple decides to divorce at a later stage – or dissolve a civil partnership in the case of same sex couples – these are the areas where, more often than not, conflict can occur and where the time it takes to sort out a split is lengthened. Read more in our Finances section.

Such problems can be addressed before they arise if a prenuptial agreement or living together agreement is drawn up before a couple tie the knot or move in together. These are still seen as unromantic and, to some, the reserve of the rich and famous. But Woolley & Co saw the number of enquiries about such arrangements leap by around 30 per cent between 2006 and 2007, and such agreements are increasingly seen as an acceptable and cost effective way to protect both parties against the unknown.

Need further advice?

Woolley & Co offer a fixed fee living together or prenuptial agreement – more details are available in our advice packages section. For advice on your specific circumstances call 0800 3213832 or use our online form to request a call.

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