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Relationship Planning

If you want to document the joint ownership of your home, and other assets, with your spouse or partner Blacks Solicitors’ Family Law team can help.

Pre-Marital Agreements and Pre-Civil Partnership Agreements

Are you planning to marry or enter into a civil partnership, and want to protect your finances in the event of a divorce or dissolution?

If you are considering marriage or a civil partnership, it is worthwhile considering a Pre-Marital Agreement (prenup) or a Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement (precip).

Pre-Marital Agreements are not yet 100% binding in this country but in recent years the Courts have started to give them ‘decisive weight’ and have held many agreements to be fully-binding, subject to compliance with certain guidelines.

Prenups and precips are particularly worthwhile if one party has significant assets prior to the marriage or civil partnership and they wish to protect their assets. They are also useful where a couple are independently wealthy and they wish to keep their finances separate, irrespective of the marriage or civil partnership.

If you have already married it is possible to put in place the equivalent of a prenup, which is known as a Post-Nuptial Agreement (postnup).

Declarations of Trust

Do you want to stipulate what share of a house you own when it is not a straightforward 50/50 split?

If you are unmarried, buying a house together and looking at making unequal contributions towards the purchase price then our Family Law team can advise and assist in drawing up Declarations of Trust.

A Declaration of Trust stipulates how the proceeds of sale would be divided if you split up. Without this, the presumption is that when a joint property is sold the proceeds are split equally, irrespective of how much each of you contributed towards the deposit.

Cohabitation Contracts

Are you planning to cohabit with your partner and want to put in place a formal agreement to regulate your financial rights and responsibilities?

For unmarried couples this can include drawing up Cohabitation Contracts, setting out how assets should be divided if you split up, and can sometimes include a framework for how you will deal with issues that crop up together during your relationship with your partner.

A properly drafted Cohabitation Contract can mean that areas of potential dispute on separation are reduced or eliminated.


For more information about how Blacks’ can help with any of the above, or for a no obligation discussion, please email or call our Family Law team today on 0113 227 9285.

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What our clients say

  • Paul Lancaster was very confident, he put us at ease and reassured us of our situation. I have to praise Paul for his patience and understanding given my health and situation. Paul filled us with every confidence that everything was under control, which it was thanks to his guidance.

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  • Ann Robinson provides a brilliant service and handles unexpected situations effectively, quickly and with kindness and calmness. She gets the job in hand done without causing unnecessary costs.

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  • Blacks is empathetic, honest and truly professional with the client at the forefront of all considerations. The group is efficient, helpful and responsive – clients couldn’t ask for a better, faster or more effective service

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  • The straightforward team at Blacks is clear and explanatory with its advice with no legal mumbo-jumbo. It handles high-end work in a very pragmatic way, which is always focused on the client, without cutting corners’.

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  • Paul Lancaster provided an invaluable balance and perspective when emotions around my divorce ran high, and there was a need for perspective and common sense. Paul is a member of Resolution, which was also important to me. All of his communications to the other party were conducted in a conciliatory, respectful and professional manner. 
Throughout what turned out to be fully contested proceedings, Paul provided expert guidance and support to me and to my extended family during exceptionally difficult times. For this we will always be grateful.

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  • I would like to thank you for your totally professional assistance in concluding this saga which has been going on for the last 3 years. I believe the outcome is the best we could have hoped for and you have been excellent throughout the last 12 months. We could not have done this without your support/help and clarity of advice. I know sometimes I may have been a bit demanding and possibly did not understand the intricacies of Family Law but you have really been supportive in all the direction you have given/offered us.

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  • I would like to say a massive thank you to Paul Lancaster of Blacks Solicitors who went more than an extra mile supporting me and defending me in my recent divorce proceedings. The level of service was outstanding. Paul is a gentleman of the highest quality, supported by his colleagues who are equally impressive in supporting their clients and obtaining the best results they can, every single time. If you want the best help and support then look no further than Blacks.

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  • I’m impressed with the level of service I received from Paul Lancaster. What fantastic people they are at Blacks! Not only solicitors but caring and comforting people. The service I received was exceptional and went above the norm by a long way. I lived in Leeds for many years and have used many of the legal firms in the city at some point. Blacks is the best of all legal firms I have encountered in my life. Deepest thanks. Fantastic company.

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  • Paul Lancaster goes beyond professionalism. His gentle and understanding approach offers ease and reassurance. He approaches all matters with sensitivity and great diligence. All matters are dealt with in a swift manner and there is minimal delay in replying to messages. 
I have already recommended this firm to some friends because of my belief that matters will be dealt with efficiently and with a positive outcome. 
Thank you to Paul for a stress free and professional experience.

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  • Extremely happy with the service I received from Anna. From the first meeting to the conclusion, everything she did was prompt and professional. If I ever need a solicitor again I will definitely use Blacks. Highly recommended.

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  • Paul handled my case with speed, sensitivity and tact, often anticipating my needs, yet working collaboratively to achieve a fair resolution. I was never patronised, and felt that no query was too small or insignificant to raise, despite Mr Lancaster’s seniority; this approach nurtured trust and put me at ease – a highly prized feeling when faced with emotionally-charged legal negotiations.

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  • Excellent firm to deal with, very helpful and service second to none… I have dealt with Paul Lancaster and he has gone above and beyond in helping me with my long term issue and successfully resolving the matter without the need of entering into courts. They take everything into consideration as certain matters are very sensitive but Paul did excellent job in advising where I stand and supporting where I required the need of a solicitor.

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  • I was advised to use Blacks as my father used them for years and told me they were very good. I can honestly say that this is an understatement. During my unfortunate and very messy divorce, Paul Lancaster not only managed to win every court battle I had against one of Leeds’ best Barristers, but also handled my costs to such an extent that my ex-wife’s fees were double my own. Literally. 
Blacks took the time and effort to care for me and my poor financial position and we still came out on top. I am indebted to this law firm.

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  • I had spoken to a number of family lawyers before choosing Paul Lancaster. He was the only one who understood what I hoped to achieve for my children, and he is a qualified Collaborative Lawyer, which I specifically sought, to help negotiate arrangements around childcare and finances. He is an exceptional advocate, and a very skillful negotiator, who I would happily recommend to anyone seeking a fair outcome for their family.


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  • Ann, I cannot thank you and your team enough, for all the help and the feeling of security you have given me over the past 11 years – knowing that my “fight” was in safe hands was a real weight off my shoulders, the worry never went away but I knew and trusted you would have an answer to anything that came up.

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