Eight Red Flags for the EARLY STAGES of a relationship or separation
Get a financial agreement (pre-nup) before you marry?
This should be signed at least 28 days before you marry. Give yourself enough time to discuss it with your future spouse, at least 6 months before you marry. You can still get a financial agreement (post-nup) after you marry but this may be harder to negotiate.
Seek legal advice before making an application for your “no fault” divorce
You need to know how a divorce will affect your financial situation. You or your spouse could be financially at risk. This could trigger avoidable financial applications to the court that increase legal costs for the both of you.
Beware of soft loans
If a family member or friend is lending you money to fund your legal costs for a divorce, you should enter into a formal loan agreement with them otherwise it will be considered a “soft loan”. The courts may not recognise soft loans as having to be repaid.
Seek legal advice before leaving the family home
Even if you are not the registered owner you may still have rights to live in the property especially, if you are married and have children.
Protect your financial interest in the family home
If you are not a registered owner but you have made financial contributions to the property, promises have been made to you to have an interest in the property or, you are married, take legal advice on how to protect your interest against the property.
Cohabitation v marriage
You do not acquire any financial claims against your partner (or them against you) if you cohabit but you will if you marry. Marriage will provide the financially weaker partner with greater financial security. They will be entitled to claim maintenance for themselves as well as any dependent children.
Do not look at your partner’s emails or post without their permission. Be careful about looking for or at information concerning your partner’s assets. You may be committing a criminal offence or be subject to a civil claim for obtaining information without their permission.
Starting a new relationship before ending the last?
If you are moving in with your new partner this can affect your financial settlement. You should inform your former partner about them before introducing them to your children.