A pre-nuptial agreement is a formal written agreement between two partners which is entered into before their marriage.
Our family team have significant experience in preparing and advising on pre-nuptial agreements.
The purpose of a pre-nuptial agreement is to record who owns what and then how those assets will be divided between the parties if the marriage breaks down. Whilst they are not currently legally binding in England and Wales these types of agreements are carrying significantly more weight in the courts following the landmark decision in Radmacher v Granatino .
Taking advice early on help can help put your mind at ease as you will be able to ask any questions that you may have and feel better informed about the process.
We offer an initial consultation to discuss your case with one of our family lawyers – Free 15 minutes.
Here you will find some useful information on Pre-Nuptial Agreements including the Law Commission report and the Supreme Court case of Radmacher v Granatino.
Is a Pre Nuptial Agreement legally binding?
The short answer is no. however, provided you have both had advice on it, you both disclosed your financial circumstances before signing it, it is fair in the circumstances, you are agreeing to it voluntarily and with an understanding of its terms, and no one has been placed under any pressure to sign it, generally the courts will uphold the terms of the agreement of one person tries to challenge it on divorce.
Who gets a Pre Nuptial Agreement?
Millennials, who are statistically marrying later
They may have had more time to build up their assets and maximise their income before marriage and want to protect this in the event that they divorce.
People who have been divorced previously
People who have been through a divorce before are aware of the cost and uncertainty that this process can bring and are often keen to avoid this for any future marital breakdowns. They may want to protect their wealth for the benefit of their children from their previous marriage. They may also be paying their previous spouse maintenance and want to limit their new spouses claims so that they can continue to live a similar lifestyle after divorce.
People with significant business interests
Particularly those involved in family businesses where business interests could form part of the matrimonial ‘pot’, Pre-Nuptial Agreements can be used to protect these.
How early should I make arrangements to get a Pre Nuptial Agreement?
In order to have the best chance of having your agreement upheld it should be signed no less than 28 days before the wedding. We recommend consulting a lawyer at least three months ahead of your big day to ensure there is enough time for the agreement to be drafted and agreed.
What are the benefits of having a pre nuptial agreement in place?
No one goes into a marriage anticipating that it will end, but if divorce becomes a reality, most if not all couples want the ‘breakdown’ process to be as amicable as possible way with minimal uncertainty and worry over financial matters. Research has shown that the top causes for conflict in a marriage are money and communication. These conflicts are of course all the more heightened when a marriage breaks down. This is why it can be sensible to sit down with your future spouse and agree on important financial matters at the outset of your relationship, whilst you are able to communicate openly and effectively. Once things have broken down, you may find you are unable to have a sensible discussion because emotions and hurt are preventing this.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are a way for the parties to have peace of mind in that they should not be facing any unexpected financial consequences on the breakdown of their marriage.
More and more people are now entering into these agreements, and it may surprise you to know that it is not just celebrities or heirs and heiresses of family fortunes who are looking to protect their wealth in this way.
At an initial meeting we will explain the law in relation to Pre-nuptial Agreements, and their advantages and disadvantages so you can make an informed decision about whether an agreement may be right for you and your future spouse.
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