A pre-marital agreement, or “pre-nup”, is an agreement made between two people who intend to marry. It can set out what the spouses intend will happen to each spouse’s property and assets on marriage, during the course of the marriage, and in the event of an eventual divorce.
The same principles apply to a pre-civil partnership agreement or “pre-cip”.
A decision of the English Supreme Court has determined that pre-marital agreements are likely to be upheld in the courts unless it is clearly unfair to do so. The Law Commission has recommended that, subject to safeguards, marital agreements should be enforceable in the courts. This recommendation has yet to be brought into law, but the courts are increasingly respectful of couples’ abilities to regulate their own affairs.
If the marriage or civil partnership has already taken place when you enter into the agreement, it is termed a post-marital or post-civil partnership agreement. This can be just as effective as a pre-nup, and some would argue possibly even more so, depending on the circumstances.
The terms of a marital or civil partnership agreement can be discussed in mediation, in the collaborative law process, or using traditional solicitor-to-solicitor negotiation techniques.
Please download our information sheet if you would like more details about making a marital agreement. Alternatively, you can call Gail, Sue, Adam, Simon, Tricia or Jeremy on 01223 443333 for a confidential initial discussion.