In our article on Pre-Nuptial Agreements of July last year we reported a Court of Appeal decision which may serve to increase the possibility of Pre-Nuptial Agreements being enforced by the Courts on subsequent divorce/dissolution of civil partnership of the parties.
Pre-Nuptial contracts are agreements couples enter into before marriage/civil partnership in an attempt to agree how assets should be divided in the event of their divorce/dissolution of civil partnership.
Post-Nuptial Agreements are agreements parties enter into after their marriage/civil partnership governing future arrangements for their marriage/civil partnership.
The decision of MacLeod v MacLeod  1 FLR 641 makes it clear that there is nothing to prevent a married couple from entering into financial arrangements governing their life together by entering into a Deed governing their future rights in the event that the marriage should fail. Presumably therefore by the same token the Courts would adopt the same approach for partners in a civil partnership.
The MacLeod case concerned a couple who entered into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement before their marriage and then a Post-Nuptial Agreement after their marriage confirming that they still intended to be bound by the Pre-Nuptial Agreement subject to certain variations.
Whilst this area of law is by no means certain there is a clear move towards the English Courts allowing couples to make their own decisions regarding the division of assets on separation.
For more information contact Anita Toal of our Family Team.