What are Prenuptial Agreements and Civil Partnership Agreements?

They are documents signed by a couple prior to their marriage or civil registration which outlines how their assets, income and pensions will be shared between them in the event of their permanent separation.

Their purpose is to provide the couple with a degree of certainty over what would happen in the event of their separation, as opposed to them subjecting themselves to the vagaries of the Court system and the uncertainty of outcome which generally follows this process.

What should be included in a Prenuptial or Civil Partnership Agreement?

A range of provisions can be included tailored specifically to yours and your partner’s needs and circumstances. The aim is to protect yours and your partner’s interests.

The following are all examples of what are regularly included:-

  • Agreement that neither party will make any claim for a share of the possessions and assets of the other.
  • Agreement that neither party will look to make a claim on any inheritance or gifts made specifically to the other.
  • Provision setting out how any joint assets are to be shared.
  • Provisions setting out what will become of assets which were purchased jointly, e.g cars, furniture, etc.

How strong are Prenuptial Agreements in Court?

Recent Court cases have clearly demonstrated that Judges are giving far greater weight to the provisions and agreements set out in Prenuptial Agreements than they once did. Whilst they are not ultimately legally binding, they allow couples greater control over how their assets are divided.

Whilst Judges may not follow the agreements to the letter when deciding how assets are to be divided, they are paying increasing attention to what had been agreed by each party prior to separation, when deciding on the division of assets. In the appropriate cases Judges may not deviate from the terms of an agreement reached at all.

For this reason, Prenuptial and Civil Partnership agreements are an increasingly popular mechanism for protecting your assets. 

How much does a Prenuptial or Civil Partnership Agreement cost?

Wright Hassall now offer a fixed price service in relation to the drafting of such agreements. Contact us to find out more.

About the authors

Justin Creed Head of the family team

Justin is a family and divorce lawyer, experienced in all aspects of family, divorce & matrimonial law. As a qualified collaborative lawyer and a member of Resolution, he actively seeks the resolution of disputes without involving the courts.

Peter Lowe Partner

Peter is a family and divorce lawyer specialising in family and divorce law including ancillary financial issues and matters relating to children. Peter is a trained mediator and an accredited specialist with Resolution (Solicitors Family Law Association).