Unmarried couples keen to keep their cash in the event of a break-up have sparked a rise in the number of 'no-nup' agreements.
According to leading law firm Seddons, the number of cohabiting couples signing agreements that protect their wealth if and when they part company has doubled over the last five years.
Similar to pre-nups, these contracts are designed to ensure that both parties retain their own assets should the relationship turn sour, and lays out details of what should happen to shared property, outgoings and inheritance after a break-up.
Increasingly popular with wealthy unmarried couples, no-nups can be drawn up by a solicitor, and detail what should happen in the vent of a break-up or the death of a partner, as well as covering potential sticking points like who pays the bills and who will retain control of joint bank accounts and credit cards.
However, it is still down to the courts to decide on a case-by-case basis how much weight is given to a no-nup agreement, based on factors such as shared mortgages and whether the couple have children together.
That said, the Law Commission is currently consulting on whether to make pre-nups binding, which could lead to similar protection for unmarried couples.
Family law expert Deborah Jeff, from Sneddons, told the Daily Mail: "During the recession especially, people have become very protective of wealth and will fight tooth and nail to ensure that money which is theirs is ring-fenced.
"It is the greatest protection for a couple outside marriage."
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