After a couple enters into a relationship, their thoughts can turn to what will happen with the assets and liabilities they have accumulated prior to the relationship, and how they will arrange their property during the relationship.

If they have take no pro active steps to “ring fence” those pre-relationship assets, then after 3 years it is possible that some or all of that property will be regarded as relationship property under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 and subject to a 50:50 split, should they separate.

A relatively inexpensive and quick way to “ring fence” existing property for each person, and to ‘set the rules’ for what will be (or become) separate or relationship property in the future, is getting lawyers to draft an Agreement under section 21 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976, contracting out of that Act to the extent that is specified. You cannot complete this contract without each of you being independently legally advised. You will both need lawyers, who are family lawyers, with experience in property matters under that Act.

There are other ways to achieve this also, in combination with a “Contracting Out” agreement. Trust structures are helpful also.

I have particular specialty in providing advice in this area.