Family Agreements

Many cohabiting couples misunderstand their legal status

Cohabiting couple families are the fastest growing family type in the UK. Although there is no such thing as common law marriage in UK law, 51% of respondents to the British Social Attitudes Survey in 2008 thought that unmarried couples who live together for some time probably or definitely had a "common law marriage" which gives them the same legal rights as married couples, although this is not legally the case. Source: Office for National Statistics

 Why have a cohabitation agreement?

English Law provides little legal protection for those couples who live together, with or without children for however long they have lived together.

Partners can be left with no pension rights if their partner dies without making a will, they may lose rights over a shared   property if not named on the deeds and   they will pay additional inheritance tax.

In the event of separation, partners will have no automatic right to maintenance.

What Could   a Cohabitation Agreement Cover?

  • A record of how each partner contributes to living   costs: rent, mortgage and utility bills
  • Arrangements regarding joint bank accounts, debts, life assurance and pension rights
  • Plans for the support of children and their maintenance
  • Contributions to deposits on properties and separately owned properties

Pre-Nuptial agreements

There may be many reasons for entering into a pre-nuptial agreement. You may wish to protect existing assets. You may wish to reassure your future spouse that you will not make a claim against certain assets. You may simply want predictability.

Few people enter a marriage in the expectation that it will end in divorce but, unless it is unfair for the Court to do so, a Pre-Nuptial agreement is likely to be upheld if the parties are aware of what they are doing when they enter into such an agreement, make full and frank financial disclosure and take legal advice.

Hudgell & Partners provide a fixed fee offer for preparing a Pre-Nuptial agreement or reviewing a Pre-Nuptial agreement prepared by your future spouse. For advice, make an appointment or e-mail Angela Simpson on

Change of Name Deed

If you wish to change your name you can do so at any time. There is no legal procedure to follow. In many circumstances however it is necessary to provide documentary evidence of the change eg. when applying for a Passport, changing your name on a bank account, altering the name on your Driving Licence. Hudgell & Partners can prepare a Change of Name Deed for a fixed fee.