Pre-Marital/Civil Partnership Agreements FAQs

What do Pre-Marital/Civil Partnership Agreements involve?

Pre-Marital/Civil Partnership Agreements require careful planning, negotiation and advice.  Although the key element in such an Agreement is “fairness”, several common requirements have emerged from test cases so far:

  • Agreements should not normally be made fewer than 21 days before the date of the service or ceremony 
  • Both parties should have provided full and frank disclosure of their financial positions 
  • Both parties should have received independent legal advice as to the Agreement’s implications
  • There should be no duress on either party to enter into the Agreement 
  • The Agreement should have built-in provision for regular reviews

How will the Court view a Pre-Marital/Civil Partnership Agreement?

If there is no apparent injustice to either party and no unforeseen circumstances have intervened such that it would make it unfair to hold one party to it, it seems likely the Court may accommodate the Agreement when the couple separates. 

Where separating couples cannot agree financial settlement terms, the Court is asked to adjudicate.  The Court will consider “all the circumstances of the case”. Pre-Marital/Civil Partnership Agreements will certainly be treated as one of these circumstances and may be persuasive. 

Why Pre-Marital/Civil Partnership Agreements make sense?

Many clients find these Agreements offer a welcome opportunity to discuss practical matters with their partner and to prevent disputes arising after a service or ceremony – even if it may  seem unromantic at the time!

We urge any couple considering a Pre-Marital/Civil Partnership Agreement to seek independent legal advice to:

  • Determine the basis of the Agreement they require
  • Identify how the Agreement could help to avoid future problems

Getting in touch

For more information please email Patrick Mulcare pmulcare@se-law.co.uk or Gemma Davison gdavison@se-law.co.uk. Alternatively you can contact us by telephone on 01295 204000.