Why more couples are in need of a pre-civil partnership agreement

Michelle Uppal

With civil partnerships being more popular than ever according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, Michelle Uppal, family lawyer at Miles & Partners Solicitors in London explains how same sex couples can safeguard their future with a little help from their legal friends. 

‘It is interesting that so many same sex couples are still opting for a civil partnership, despite now having the option to marry,’ says Michelle. ‘And even mixed sex couples have campaigned to be allowed to show their commitment through a civil partnership instead of getting married.’

A civil partnership gives a same sex couple similar legal rights, financial protection and tax benefits to a married couple and should the relationship end, the process of untangling of joint assets to reach a financial settlement is similar to that in divorce.

Do I need a pre-civil partnership agreement?

Pre-civil partnerships agreements are increasingly being used by couples who do want to remove any doubt and insecurity about their financial position. Couples who have assets from a previous marriage, inherited wealth, land, pensions, a family business or interests of children to protect are especially advised to make a pre-civil partnership agreement.

How do I ask for one?

When planning your future together, financial honesty is usually the best policy. If you have not known each other long, a pre-civil partnership agreement can be a good way to reassure family members of your intentions.

A sensible approach is to initiate a full review of your financial and legal arrangements, as part of your civil partnership preparations. This could include updating your wills, reviewing the ownership of the property you will live in and making a pre-civil partnership agreement. 

How do we agree the terms?

One of the best ways to negotiate the terms of a prenup is by using collaborative law, where your lawyers are at your side to give you legal advice and help with recording the terms in a formal written agreement.  They will discuss with you how you wish your joint portfolio of assets to be divided or ring-fenced in the event of separation and negotiate the agreement by your side. You will then have the opportunity to take independent legal advice to ensure that the agreement is fair before you sign.

For a confidential discussion about making a pre-civil partnership agreement or any other family law matter contact Michelle Uppal on 0207 426 0400 or email MU@milesandpartners.com.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.  Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.