Pre and post nuptial and civil partnership registration agreements
Pre and Post Nuptial / Registration Agreements
We understand that you may not want to think about your relationship ending, particularly at a time when you are about to marry or enter into a civil partnership.
If your relationship is a long and happy one, you may never need to think about the financial implications of a relationship breakdown but if the unforeseen happens separating your assets is likely to be costly, stressful and time consuming. A nuptial or registration agreement can alleviate potential complications in such an eventuality.
What is a prenuptial/registration agreement?
This is an agreement between you as a couple before your marriage or civil partnership. It sets out how your assets will be treated in the event of divorce or dissolution.
What is a postnuptial/registration agreement?
This is where the agreement is made during your marriage or civil partnership.
Why should you have one?
Sadly marriages and civil partnerships do not always work out as anticipated. Relationship breakdown has potentially far reaching consequences, so planning for all eventualities can eliminate the uncertainties and difficulties that you might face if you did not have an agreement in place
They are particularly useful if you acquired assets before the marriage or civil partnership, through inheritance or your own endeavours, or if you are entering into a second marriage where assets have accumulated prior to the marriage or civil partnership and there is wish to secure or protect them for the benefit of any children.
Will it be enforced by the courts?
Pre and postnuptials aren’t strictly enforceable, but courts do seem to be taking them into account more and more these days, recognising them as evidence of your intentions as a couple.
If your agreement follows certain guidelines, which our experienced lawyers will be able to talk you through, then it’s more likely that some or all of the terms will be mirrored by the court when making an order.
Not only can we prepare an agreement for you, we can also advise you on how to ensure its continual suitability. We recommend periodical review to take into consideration any changes in your circumstances that might need incorporating into the agreement.
What are the guidelines?
- Your prenuptial/registration agreement should be signed at least 21 days before the date of your marriage or civil partnership ceremony, and preferably even earlier, say six weeks.
- There should be full financial disclosure provided by both of you
- You should both receive separate and independent legal advice and record this in the agreement
- You should make suitable financial provision for any children or future children
- The terms of the agreement should be fair and should be reviewed regularly to maintain fairness
- The terms of the agreement must be such that it would be enforceable under the general law of contract
- Both of you must sign the agreement willingly and without pressure or undue influence from any other person
If you would like more advice on how such an agreement could work for you, please contact one of our specialist family lawyers.