Written by Rubina Begum, Trainee Solicitor
You and your partner may not be Brangelina, Amal and George Clooney couple or Elton and David and you probably wouldn’t want to start a conversation with “Honey, in case we break up…” in the midst of planning the dream wedding or civil partnership. However, unfortunately things do not always go according to plan, and with the divorce rate at an all time peak, if you own considerable assets, you would be wise to consider the division of assets by the means of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement or Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement (Pre-Nup) before entering into a marriage or civil partnership.
To make the idea of a Pre-Nup more palatable, it could be thought of as being similar to a Will; in the way that it is simply a legal document that details desired outcomes in the event of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.
Professor Elizabeth Cooke, Law Commissioner for property, family and trust law, said: “Pre- and post-nuptial agreements are becoming more commonplace but the courts will not always follow them and lawyers are therefore not able to give clear advice about their effect. Qualifying nuptial agreements would give couples autonomy and control, and make the financial outcome of separation more predictable.”
For couples living together and not wishing to marry or enter into a Civil Partnership, Cohabitation Agreements are the equivalent of a Pre-Nup. However, Cohabitation Agreements are legally binding and thus provide definite protection should there be a breakdown of a relationship.
So to Pre-Nup or Not to Pre-Nup? In a fairytale: No. In the real world: Yes!
So our advice is whether you are planning to marry or enter into a civil partnership or are planning to live together, a legal document in the form of a pre-nup or a cohabitation agreement will go someway to ensure you are protected in the event of a breakdown in relations.
Should you be considering a pre-nup or a cohabitation agreement, our experienced Family Law team will be able to take you through the process step by step and ensure that the best interests of all parties concerned are met. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.