Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements

Family Law

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Do you need a Prenuptial Agreement solicitor?

Many couples do not think of the potential financial consequences when they decide to marry and the topic of a Prenuptial Agreement is not the most romantic. When entering into marriage of course it is with the hope that the relationship will be a lasting one and sadly this is not always the case.

In some circumstances it is sensible to consider protecting your assets and minimising possible future dispute by entering into a prenuptial agreement. This is particularly important for those who already own a property or other substantial assets; including a business or inherited assets for example.

A Prenuptial Agreement is a legal agreement entered into by a couple before they get married which sets out what would happen with their assets in the event of divorce or separation. If you are already married you have the option to enter into the same type of agreement known as a Postnuptial Agreement; or if a couple is entering into a Civil Partnership.

Why would I need a Prenuptial Agreement?

In the absence of agreement the matter would be referred to the Court for determination and in England and Wales the Court has a wide discretion when deciding how to share out assets on divorce.  There are no set rules.  All of your assets, whether acquired before the marriage, during or even after you have separated; can be shared out by the Court.

Is it binding?

The Court will uphold an Agreement if it is drafted appropriately, meeting certain requirements providing that it is fair in the circumstances.

The Court will consider the following points when deciding if the Agreement should stand:-

  • Have the parties sought their own independent legal advice and do they each understand the legal implications of signing the Prenuptial Agreement?
  • Have the parties entered into full and frank financial disclosure and full aware of the other’s financial position?
  • Is one of the parties to the Agreement under pressure to sign it? (ensure that there is a period of at least 21 days between the signing of the agreement and the wedding);
  • The Agreement should be fair; the Court would be unlikely to endorse the Agreement otherwise;
  • Consider future changes in circumstances and include provision for the Agreement to be reviewed.