Pre-nuptial Agreements or Pre-partnership – Plan my Wedding
A pre-nuptial or pre-partnership agreement doesn’t have any legal standing, but may be considered by a court if you find yourself in the unhappy position of dissolving the partnership. Often people want to draw up pre-nuptials to protect substantial assets.
If a civil partnership breaks up within a few years, a pre-nup might be taken into consideration by a court. However, if you are applying for a dissolution after some years, when circumstances may have changed, a court is unlikely to take much notice of it.
Instead of seeing it as an agreement in case you split up, use it as a way of agreeing on what you want from a relationship.
It could be as simple as a list of expectations that you both agree on, including attitudes to money, children, monogamy, visiting relations, property, ill-health, or anything else you can anticipate happening in your relationship – even how often you cook or who books holidays – but don’t expect to stick to it rigidly, or that in itself could be a cause for dissolution.
If you decide to draw up a pre-partnership agreement, it is a good idea to involve a family lawyer. Jacqueline D’Hazzard of Engleharts Solicitors says: ‘Although pre-partnership agreements are not legally binding, they have the potential to make it clearer and cheaper when dissolving a civil partnership. If a couple breaks up, an agreement may well help keep it out of litigation and make the whole thing less acrimonious. But if the dissolution goes to court, it gives the judge a clear indication of the couple’s intentions at the outset, although of course it does depend on the judge how much they take this into account.’
For more information on civil partnerships see General Register Office in the Directory of Useful Resources