It is becoming more common for couples to prepare an Agreement prior to a Marriage or Civil Partnership to provide what will happen if the relationship unfortunately breaks down.
This may be for reasons such as second marriages – where they want to ensure the children from the previous marriage are provided for; to protect inherited or pre-acquired assets or to determine which country can deal with any dispute.
Pre-nuptial agreements are not recognised in this country by legislation but have been upheld by Judges. The appropriate factors where agreements have been upheld are:
- The agreement is freely entered to without any pressure
- The parties understand the implications
- The agreement is fair.
Normally if there has not been full and frank financial disclosure and the parties are not both legally represented the agreement is unlikely to be upheld.
An agreement can be made after parties have married or entered into a civil partnership. Postnuptial or postmarital agreements are often used when parties wish to confirm and/or amend a premarital agreement in light of a change in their circumstances. This could be if someone receives an inheritance or children are born.