With over a third of marriages in England and Wales ending in divorce, a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement can be a very effective way of helping to protect the assets you take into the marriage and dividing the assets at the end, should your marriage break down.  We know how important it is for everyone to come out of the process happy and reassured and to minimize the stress and anxiety that comes with a relationship breakdown.

Many of the people we work with have their own family business to run, have family trusts, pre acquired property or pensions.  Most importantly, they may have children from a previous relationship that they need to properly provide for. We also work with parents and grandparents who have made a significant contribution to their children’s property or business and want to see this investment protected.

This is not an easy subject to discuss and is far from romantic but it can provide real peace of mind to all those involved. As friendly and considerate pre and post nuptial agreement lawyers, we can help you.

Common questions that we are asked about pre and post nuptial agreements, include:

“What is a prenuptial agreement?”
“Are prenuptial agreements legally binding in the UK?”
“How does a divorce and a pre-nuptial agreement work?”
“I want to protect my assets in the event of a divorce – what should I do?”

How does a nuptial agreement help?

A nuptial agreement is a contract signed before (pre-nuptial) or after (post-nuptial) a marriage or civil partnership. This agreement documents what should happen to a couple’s assets if their relationship breaks down. This is particularly important if there is a significant imbalance of assets between the two people involved.

Nuptial agreements are not legally binding in that there is no legislation in relation to such agreements.  However, they are carefully scrutinized by a Judge in cases where there is a dispute. They will be upheld if they are fair and reasonable and meet the parties’ needs and the needs of any children who are involved.

In drafting a nuptial agreement you and your partner must seek and obtain independent legal advice and

  • your lawyers must sign the agreement to confirm that this requirement has been met
  • your nuptial agreement must be signed at least 21 days prior to your marriage to prevent any subsequent argument that either you or your partner was under pressure to sign, given the proximity of the marriage ceremony
  • you must give full disclosure of your assets and other financial circumstances.
  • The provisions in the agreement must meet the parties’ and the children’s needs in terms of future housing needs, income etc.

Such an agreement should be regularly reviewed to ensure that it remains “fit for purpose”.

All of our family lawyers are members of Resolution and subscribe to the Resolution Code of Practice. This promotes an approach to family law that is sensitive, constructive, cost-effective and most likely to result in an agreement.

To discuss your pre-nuptial or post-nuptial options, contact us today.

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