Protecting the financial support you give your family

as featured in "Good Housekeeping" - July edition

Helping your children financially, whether to get a foot on the property ladder or with some of life’s other expenses, is one of the joys, and increasingly, one of the roles of a parent.

But what happens to your gift if their relationship breaks down?

Did you know that without proper protection in place, your generous financial support could end up benefiting your ex-daughter or son-in-law, or even their new partners?

The good news is, it doesn’t cost much, or take long, to legally protect your gift or loan. A declaration of trust, or a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, will help to ensure your money is either returned to you, to use again to help your children, or ring-fenced to stay with the intended recipient.

Declaration of Trust

An ideal solution when your money is helping an unmarried couple. A declaration of trust outlines what should happen to your gift or loan should the recipient separate from their partner. For instance, it could specify that any money you lend for a house deposit be returned to you when the house is sold.

By getting your money back, you’ll be able to give your child much-needed support when they’re looking for their new home.

Pre- or Post-Nuptial Agreement

When a couple marry with unequal assets, or with financial input from a parent or grandparent, a well-executed pre- or post-nuptial agreement can be the best solution.

It can also give a sense of security to both you and the recipient, that the support will remain with the person intended.


‘In a divorce, assets get split 50:50 don’t they?’

Sadly, not always. Recording your money in a trust, or in a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, will help to protect it and your child.

‘As a common-law wife, my daughter and grandchildren will be provided for by law.’

Unfortunately, the status of common-law spouse isn’t legally recognised in this country. By entering into a trust, your financial support could be returned to you to give again later.   


Contact our Family Law lawyers to see how we can help to protect your financial gifts and loans.