Civil Partnerships: Pre/Post Registration Agreements
We will explain your civil partnerships rights so you can become a family
The Family Law Team at Mayo Wynne Baxter understands how important the Civil Partnership Act is for your relationship. In December 2005 the Act came into affect and Brighton was one of first places in the UK to host a registration ceremony.
Since then, our expert team have developed experience in the Civil Partnership Act so that you and your partner can enjoy your life together and know that the advice you’ll receive will help make this possible. For an easy to read downloadable advice document please see our 'Legal guide to civil partnerships' on the right hand side of this page.
Understanding civil partnership law
Once you have registered your Civil Partnership, you become a family. There are strict guidelines as to who can and cannot enter into a partnership, and these are broadly in line with the rules governing marriage, with the obvious gender exception.
The differences between civil partnership and marriage are few. Like a marriage, a Civil Partnership can only be ended by a court order, in the same way as a divorce. This is known as dissolution. The Civil Partnership Act also recognises foreign same sex marriages, but only as Civil Partnerships.
Pre/Post Registration Agreements
A Pre Registration Agreement is a contract signed before entering into a Civil Partnership, setting out what should happen in the event the Civil Partnership doesn't work out. A Post Registration Agreement is the same type of contract, but signed after entering into the Civil Partnership.
These types of agreements are increasingly being given more weight and consideration by the courts. The essential principle is that the Court should now give effect to such agreements if they are freely entered into with a full appreciation of its implications, unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to uphold the agreement. This effectively means that pre and post registration agreements are likely to be upheld by the Court as long as they are deemed to be fair and do not prejudice the reasonable requirements of any children of the civil partnership.
Due to the uncertainty and judicial discretion that exists when dividing up civil partnership assets it seems sensible that people consider entering into a pre or post registration agreement to create some certainty and give them the opportunity to decide for themselves what a fair outcome would be if the civil partnership should breakdown in the future.
Pre and post registration agreements can be a difficult subject to approach due to worries about not wanting to seem unromantic and pessimistic. However, by entering into such an agreement a couple will have to discuss, disclose and consider their financial circumstances and the financial issues that they may face when in a civil partnership, so it should really be regarded as a practical approach to entering into a civil partnership and sensible financial planning for the future.
Although the legal implications of a civil partnership are probably not the first thing people think about when entering into a civil partnership it is important to understand that a civil partnership does have a huge legal and financial impact on your life.
Our specialist team of solicitors can help explain and advise on the issues that you need to consider to ensure that your interests, and indeed your family's interests, are protected.
Contact our Family Law Team today to arrange an appointment for further expert advice on pre and post registration agreements.