Valentine’s Day – Be Romantic but Practical Says Pictons

The magic of Valentine’s Day, that public declaration of love, is almost upon us but with one in three marriages ending up in the divorce courts and many co habiting relationships biting the dust in similar numbers, this significant celebration can often distract loving couples from the more practical side to being in a committed relationship.

While leading regional law firm Pictons wholeheartedly says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ it’s important to remember that being romantic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be practical too. If you are hoping for that romantic proposal or planning to move in together there are some practical steps you should take to protect yourself and any assets you may have.

Siobhan Rooney, a Partner at Pictons and a Family Law specialist says “I think it’s important to highlight when people may need to consider making a pre-nup or cohabitation agreement because in the heat of romance it’s very easy to not take any sensible basic steps to protect what you own for your future financial security.

“If it’s not dealt with at the time of marriage or cohabitation, arguments about division of assets upon separation can lead to expensive court battles and emotional distress. If you bring assets into a relationship you are opening up the possibility of your partner having a claim on those assets. This can be avoided very easily by entering into a formal agreement but unfortunately people find it difficult to have conversations about what will happen on separation when deeply in love.

“There are several scenarios in which I would strongly urge people to seek legal advice before marriage or cohabitation and these include:

When parents or a third party make a contribution towards the purchase of a property.
When one person contributes more that the other towards the deposit or mortgage payments on the property.
When one person has more assets or income than the other
When there are children to the relationship
When one person is self employed or has a business
When one person is likely to receive significant inheritance
I would suggest that if a person falls within one of the categories above that they at least make a call to a family solicitor to see what steps, if any, should be taken to protect their assets or to protect the intentions of the parties as to how assets should be divided.

If you would like to speak to someone about taking steps to protect your assets then please contact one of our Solicitors via phone on 0845 263 7505 or email info@pictons.co.uk

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