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Planning for Marriage and Co-habitation

Preparing for an engagement, a wedding or moving in with a partner are some of the most exciting times of your life – full of joy and celebration.  But often the detail in what these significant commitments might mean in the future is overlooked.  

Alongside the celebration, we encourage transparent conversations so that you are both fully committed for the long term.  In our experience, the more honesty and assurances from the start, the stronger the foundation for the future.



"Payne Hicks Beach has a highly esteemed family law department which regularly handles high-value and sophisticated matters" Chambers UK HNW 2023

Planning for marriage and cohabitation involves discussing important topics like finances, household responsibilities, future goals, and expectations.  It is essential to communicate openly, listen to each other’s perspectives, and find common ground to build a strong foundation for your life together.

These useful steps may help to guide your process:

1. Communication: Have open and honest discussions about your values, expectations, and goals for the future. Talk about important topics such as finances, career aspirations, family dynamics, and lifestyle preferences.

2. Financial Planning: Discuss how you will manage finances together, including budgeting, saving, and sharing expenses. Consider whether you will merge bank accounts or keep them separate, and establish a plan for handling debts and investments.

3. Living Arrangements: Decide where you will live together and how you will divide household responsibilities. Discuss how you like to live, standards and expectations, to ensure a fair distribution of duties.


4. Legal Considerations: If you’re getting married, discuss a prenuptial agreement and consult a legal professional. If you’re cohabitating, research the legal implications in your area regarding property ownership, rights, and responsibilities.

5. Family Planning: Talk about your desires and expectations regarding children, if applicable. Discuss how you will raise and support a family, including parenting styles, childcare arrangements, and career decisions.

6. Conflict Resolution: Develop strategies for resolving disagreements and conflicts constructively. Consider seeking premarital counselling or relationship coaching to learn effective communication and problem-solving skills.

7. Support Networks: Identify your support networks, including friends, family, and community resources. Lean on each other for emotional support and seek help when needed.

8. Continual Evaluation: Marriage and cohabitation require ongoing effort and adjustment. Regularly revisit your plans and goals, and be willing to adapt as your circumstances change.

By addressing these key areas and fostering open communication and mutual respect, you can lay the groundwork for a successful and fulfilling partnership.

"The best legal team money can buy. Unbelievably thorough, first-class litigators, highly respected in the field. Supremely well connected internationally and ideally placed to help in cases involving multi-jurisdictional issues“ The Legal 500 UK

The Family Team at Payne Hicks Beach is ranked in Chambers HNW 2023. 

The directory writes that:

“Payne Hicks Beach has a highly esteemed family law department which regularly handles high-value and sophisticated matters.” 

“They are uniformly first rate, from the technical ability of more junior team members with day to day responsibility on a case, to the deep experience and strategic thinking offered by the partners and more senior associates.”

“PHB are absolutely excellent. They are all extremely competent, and can handle really big cases without being fazed by anything.”

With rankings over many years in Chambers HNW, testimonials include “They’re as good as you’ll find; they’re a class act,” says a source, explaining: “They have a lot of depth to their practice. They all have great experience and are very good to deal with.” 

Another comments: “They are a fantastic group of lawyers. They provide excellent advice to clients, and they have strong expertise in a range of areas. They really invest in their clients; it’s a real pleasure dealing with them.” 

The Legal 500 UK 2023 describes Payne Hicks Beach LLP as a “top notch firm that does A list work for the most influential, successful and high profile clients.” 

The law directory expands to say that “the department is ‘outstanding’ and garners praise for its specialist advice on the full spectrum of complex family law issues often with an international dimension for high-profile individuals, entrepreneurs, UHNWs and others including members of international Royalty” and recognises that the team “is frequently instructed in cases that go to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.”  “Overall it is a ‘class act with a team of great lawyers who know exactly how to run the big, difficult litigation but never lose sight of what the client wants’.”  

One source comments: “The PHB family team has exceptional experience of the most complex international family law disputes. Very few other firms have this level of experience. Hand-in-hand with this the firm delivers a very personal service, giving clients the assurance that both their case and their welfare are being cared for with utmost attention.”