A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement which allows couples, prior to marriage or civil partnership, to agree what will happen if they later separate, divorce, or have their civil partnership dissolved, and they wish to alter or vary what the law currently provides.
They can set out what would happen with the possession of assets, treatment of future earnings, division of property, etc. In other words, who will own what? A prenuptial agreement may also regulate the level of financial provision to be made between parties following a separation.
Entering a prenuptial agreement can sometimes be an appropriate course of action.
The Court may recognise these agreements, depending on the circumstances in which they are prepared. A fair and reasonable agreement is more likely to be accepted. Each couple would appoint their own solicitor to represent them in the drafting of the agreement to ensure they have been independently advised.
An agreement could just cover one particular aspect for a subsequent separation – for example, an interest in the family company.
Cohabiting couples may also make financial claims if their relationship comes to an end. Couples may want to reach an agreement on what would happen if their cohabitation comes to an end.