What clients might be suitable for the One Solicitor: One Couple process (also known as Solicitor Neutral or Resolution Together)? I’m delighted to be joined in this blog by Dr Angharad Rudkin, a child psychologist, author and creator of the What...
For those considering marriage, civil partnership or cohabitation (or for those already married or in a civil partnership, a post nuptial) then I highly recommend doing some initial work together as a couple before I draft the legal documents you need.
Together we use ‘Designing Our Future Together’ workbooks. These exciting workbooks help you plan for your next chapter. As a couple you’ll discover the following:
- What are your values?
- What are your communication styles?
- How do you give and receive love and support – what will work for the other?
- How will you make financial decisions? What are your attitudes to money?
- Will there be (more) children?
- What will happen about any pets?
And anything else that’s really important to you both.
Using the workbook, you both start to think about the legal stuff and to gather the information needed for me to draft pre-nups and post nups.
These workbooks mean that our work together will be ‘relationship optimistic’, hopeful and look to the future with loving pragmatism.
About to get married or form a civil partnership?
If you are planning on marrying or forming a civil partnership then a pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement should be considered. This is especially important if one of you has more capital and or income or is likely to inherit or bring more monies into the relationship. These agreements are very suited to either the Collaborative Practice, Mediation or One Couple as your relationship is likely to remain intact whilst negotiations and financial disclosure take place. It is my experience that these can be speedily prepared and finalised.
It’s not too late to formalise the financial arrangements even after you have tied the knot. A post nuptial can be entered into any time after the marriage or civil partnership has taken place but before a divorce. Often if one of you receives a windfall (for example an inheritance) this can be ring-fenced should you break up or divorce down the line.
Children and the Parents' Promise
I ask all couples to consider what might happen to the care of the children if they were to break up.
Sign up and make the Parents’ Promise to your children or your as-yet unborn/adopted/surrogated children.
You could use the Workbook to work out your priorities for children.
Consider too what will happen to any pets if you should separate. Many people are now thinking about getting a Pet nuptial to sort out arrangements for a dog or cat that they both love but just one has paid for.
NOTE: if you live together in an intimate relationship but have not married, formed a same sex marriage or formed a civil partnership and don't immediately plan to do so then see the section on Pre & Post Nuptial agreements.
The process options of Collaboration, Mediation and One Solicitor can be used to assist you in sorting out the contents of the pre or post nuptial or Deeds of Trust. But see the whole Sorting Things Out section to see what might best suit you.