Relationships & Marriage

Pre-nuptial Agreements

Engagements are usually a wonderful time for everyone involved. Once all the congratulations and excitement starts to simmer down, wedding planning can begin in earnest. And as unromantic as it may seem, if you have been married before and/or have substantial assets, part of this planning should include a pre-nuptial agreement.

The best way to find out how to protect your assets is to contact our specialist family solicitors.

Pre-nuptial Agreements
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Pre-nuptial Agreements

Pre-nuptial agreements are entered into by couples before they get married or enter a civil partnership. In this guide, we will look at what a pre-nuptial agreement can cover, the pros and cons, and importantly, whether it is right for you and your partner.

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

A pre-nuptial agreement is a formal contract entered into by a couple prior to marriage, which defines how their assets will be divided in the event of separation or divorce.

Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement legally binding?

Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not legally enforceable in the United Kingdom, but the courts do see them as influential. In a recent ruling, the fair distribution of assets can be assessed and governed by a Pre-Nuptial Agreement – and they are becoming more and more popular.

The following guidelines must be adhered to when organising a Pre-Nuptial Agreement to ensure it has standing in the event of a separation and divorce:

  • Independent legal advice should be sought by both parties.
  • There should be full financial disclosure and details should be provided on income, assets and liabilities to your solicitor.
  • The Agreement should, ideally, be completed 3 months before the marriage.
  • There should be no undue influence imposed by either party.
What should your Pre-Nuptial Agreement contain?

What your Pre-Nuptial Agreement contains is completely up to you and will depend on your assets and individual circumstances. Some of the most popular things a Pre-Nuptial Agreement covers are:

  • Details as to how your property will be divided.
  • Details relating to the division of the monies held in your respective bank accounts.
  • Details concerning how you wish to divide your stocks and shares.
  • Clarification as to which assets are owned jointly and which are owned by a sole party.
  • Clarification as to whether one party will pay a sum of maintenance to the other party.
Can a pre-nuptial agreement be updated over the course of the marriage?

Yes, if circumstances change, making the original terms of the agreement unfair or unreasonable then it can be amended if both parties agree. Contact us to find out more about ‘post-nuptial’ agreements.

Why is independent legal advice imperative for both parties to a pre-nuptial agreement?

Although no one ever plans to get divorced, the sad fact is one-in-three marriages do fail. If you have substantial assets or have children from a previous marriage, it makes sense to ensure you protect your wealth in a manner that is fair and reasonable. We will help you draft a pre-nuptial agreement that stands a solid chance of being upheld in court.

Similarly, if you have been asked to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, we can advise as to whether it is fair and reasonable and advise on the future impact such an agreement could have on your finances.

Burt Brill(iant) & Cardens…fantastic from start to finish, extremely professional, knowledgeable, competent and reassuring. We couldn’t have wished for a better service.

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