Matters to consider for a pre-civil partnership agreement

8th March 2015 by

 

Healys’ family lawyers in Brighton and London can help you if you are about to enter into a civil partnership agreement and feel that you want to protect you best interests should the worst happen.

Much like a pre-nuptial agreement, pre-civil partnership agreements are not yet legally binding (May 2012). However, should you and your partner seek a dissolution the family court may take guidance from the contents of a well-drawn-up pre-cip if either of you decides to seek a financial order.

Considerations for an effective pre-cip

Full financial disclosure – When entering into any legal agreement full disclosure is key for the document to be legally binding. If either party to the pre-civil-partnership agreement withholds information about their finances it can render the agreement null and void and a court may then divide all assets in a manner they deem just, therefore negating the wishes of the ex-partners. Further, it is always advisable to have full knowledge of your prospective spouse’s financial position and if they are reluctant to disclose such information, it may be an important aspect to consider.

Children – When parties entering into a civil-partnership have children from previous relationships, it will be necessary to consider how a dissolution would affect their finances. Making provision in a pre-cip for the apportioning of wealth should the relationship break down can help to offer a sense of security.

Assets – If the spouses have unequal assets, i.e one is wealthier than the other, they may wish to make provision for keeping some assets separate, for instance, a family home or valuable heirlooms may be stipulated as non-divisible so that they can stay in the family line.

If one party to the civil-partnership is accruing a pension or building up a successful career, while the other stays at home to bring up children or be a home maker, this too can be a accounted for in a pre-cip so as not to leave the other spouse disadvantaged by relationship breakdown.

Property – Ownership and division of property can be one of the most contentious issues when a couple decides to go their separate ways. Unnecessary dispute can hopefully be avoided by recording agreed intentions for property should a dissolution occur.

Debts – Spouses may enter a relationship already in debt, and debts may also be accrued during the civil-partnership, therefore, it is crucial to ascertain who will be responsible for debts if the partnership breaks down. Details of such can be included in a pre-civil partnership agreement, so that it is clear who is responsible for repayments in the event of a dissolution.

Healys family lawyers in Brighton and London for pre-civil partnership planning

A pre-cip can be seen as a form of effective financial planning and the family law team at Healys can help you to execute a well-drawn up agreement.

Your prospective partner should seek independent legal advice and the terms of the document should be agreed to without coercion. To be effective, the agreement should be signed at least three months before the civil-partnership ceremony takes place.

To find out more about making a pre-civil partnership agreement with Healys’ family law team in Brighton please call 01273 685 888 or email an enquiry to family@healys.com

Alternatively for legal advice in London please call 020 7822 4000. We look forward to helping you.