Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup,  can help sort out a couple’s financial arrangements before getting married. The aim of prenuptial agreements is that with everything agreed in advance it should make things easier to sort out should your relationship break down in the future. Although prenuptial agreements aren’t automatically binding in the UK at present, they can be taken into account by the Court and Courts have shown more reliance on them in recent years.

Prenuptial agreements should cover only financial arrangements between you should your relationship break down, for example, you can agree on matters such as

  •  The martial home and its contents
  •  Businesses
  •  Child Maintenance Payments
  •  Joint Bank Accounts
  •  Other jointly owned property
  •  Property owned separately
  •  Specific Possessions or gifts

Why consider a Prenuptial Agreement?

Although no one entering marriage wants to think that they might split up later, the truth is that you cannot predict the future.  You may be concerned about the financial implications of getting married and you may feel that you need to protect yourself for the future in the event of a breakup.  Prenuptials are a way of clarifying both partner’s financial position in advance of marriage taking place.

How can we help with a Pre Nuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements should be set out in the fairest way possible to both parties so that it increases its consideration by a court, later on, should it be relied upon. It is therefore very important that you seek advice from a lawyer when considering and preparing a prenuptial agreement to make sure that everything has been properly considered and that it has been drafted correctly.   Prenuptial Agreements that are signed under pressure will not be considered fair by a judge.

We always would recommend that both partners take independent legal advice when signing a prenuptial agreement to ensure that you are both fully aware of the others’ financial position at the outset and that you agree to the provisions set aside in the agreement.

It is a matter for the Court to determine the appropriate weight to be given to the nuptial agreement.  Where it has been entered into freely and where both parties fully understand its implications then, unless it would not be fair to hold the parties to that agreement, the weight given to the agreement can be decisive.

Throughout your relationship, as circumstances change you should update your prenuptial agreement and we can assist you with this. We would recommend that you do this once every couple of years or if one of you has a significant change in financial circumstances through inheritance or employment for example, or when you have children.

Postnuptial agreements

A post-nuptial agreement is a written contract agreed between spouses which usually makes provision for matters relating to children, maintenance and division of property in the event of a marriage breakdown.

In terms of its content, it is similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, although a post-nuptial agreement is entered into during a marriage rather than prior to it. Postnuptial agreements are particularly useful when there is a change in circumstances in the family. They can also be useful if there is not an opportunity or time to draw up a prenuptial agreement before marriage.

For a postnuptial agreement to hold any weight should it be needed in the future, both you and your spouse are required to have sought independent legal advice from a solicitor and we can assist you with this.

Our family team possess all the necessary skills and expertise to advise on the legal drafting of pre and post-nuptial agreements. You can contact the team on 01772 799 600 if you need any confidential and trusted advice on either type of agreement.

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