Article written by Atifha Aftab, Family Solicitor
A pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement is a contract that a couple about to get married or enter into a civil partnership agree which sets out what they would like to happen with their finances in the event their relationship breaks down.
A pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement is a contract that sets out the rights and obligations for both partners concerning their financial and property matters in the event of a divorce or dissolution. It typically covers the division of assets, spousal support, debts and other financial arrangements.
What are the benefits of having a pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement?
1. Asset protection
These agreements allow individuals to safeguard their pre-marital assets, family inheritance and business interests. By specifying how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce or dissolution, a pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement can mitigate later financial disputes and thereby reduce the risk of losing significant portions of personal wealth.
2. Alleviating stress and conflict
Divorce or dissolution proceedings can be emotionally draining and costly. By having a pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement in place, couples can minimise conflicts over the division of assets and financial matters and thereby streamline the divorce or dissolution process and the stress that it can entail.
3. Financial clarity
Discussing financial matters via a pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement encourages open communication between the partners. The promotes honesty and transparency while allowing for a deeper understanding of financial goals, debts and financial expectations and fostering a healthier financial relationship.
4. Preserving business interests
A pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement can shield business owners and entrepreneurs, ensuring their companies are not entangled in the divorce or dissolution process and subsequently prevent disruptions to business operations.
5. Protecting family members
A pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreement can protect the inheritance rights of children from previous marriages or relationships. By defining which assets will remain with each partner in the event of a divorce or dissolution, pre-nuptial or pre-civil partnership agreements can help to ensure that specific assets stay within the family.
It is also possible to enter into a post-nuptial or post-civil partnership agreement at any point after a marriage or civil partnership has taken place. The same considerations apply to both. The Court can give decisive weight to a nuptial agreement when deciding how a couple’s finances should be divided in the event of a separation in the right circumstances.