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  • Overview

    What is a prenuptial agreement?

    A prenuptial or premarital agreement is a written contact a couple enter into prior to their marriage, in order to set out their intentions as to the ownership of assets, debts, incomes and inheritances and how these will be divided if a separation occurs. 

    Whilst prenuptial or premarital agreements cannot override the discretion of the Court when deciding financial matters upon divorce, judges will now take the terms of these agreements into account as a relevant factor when deciding such issues. They can provide strong evidence of the intentions of both parties about what should happen in the event that the marriage breaks down. Judges may decide it appropriate to uphold a prenuptial agreement so long as certain court guidelines have been followed when the agreement is being prepared.

    Why might I need a prenuptial agreement? 

    There are a number of reasons why you might want a prenuptial or premarital agreement, such as:

    •    To protect assets which you have acquired before getting married;
    •    To ring fence an inheritance that you want to stay within the family;
    •    To provide certainty and avoid conflict in case the relationship ends; or
    •    To protect specific assets, such as a business.

    The validity and enforceability of prenuptial or premarital agreements will depend largely upon the document being properly drafted in good time before a wedding and with both parties having full and frank disclosure of the financial position of the other at the time.It is also important that both parties have taken independent legal advice and any other expert advice as may be necessary.

    Our expert team of lawyers can assist you with the preparation of a prenuptial agreement, or advice on a prenuptial agreement that has been prepared by your future spouse. We can offer you fair and easy-to-understand advice about the issues to consider when entering into a prenuptial or premarital agreement and can negotiate the terms of such agreements on your behalf.

    As any existing will is automatically revoked on marriage, we can also offer you support from our Wills, Trusts & Tax Planning team. We have strong links with local tax and pensions experts for additional advice if required.

    If you are already married and want to ensure that certain financial assets are secured for your future in case anything should happen, our team of expert solicitors will also be able to discuss postnuptial agreements with you.  

    For further information please contact one of the team.

    Client reference/example

    We have advised a client who had assets from a previous marriage and who was considering re-marrying.  We prepared a prenuptial/premarital agreement in order to preserve the assets which the client had secured from the previous divorce proceedings for the benefit of his children.  We worked with our private client department to provide protection to various family trusts as part of the prenuptial/premarital agreement. 

  • Latest Updates

    Postnuptial Agreements

    It used to be contrary to public policy for a married couple who were living together, or a couple about to get married, to make an agreement that provided for the possibility that they might separate and how their financial assets should be distributed on separation.

    Love, Marriage and Estate Planning

    Getting married or entering into a civil partnership is usually one of the most important days of any person’s life, and the preparations can take months in advance of the big day.

    Can you protect your business when faced with divorce?

    The answer to this question is the lawyer’s favourite answer of “it depends”. 

    FAQ: Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

    A nuptial agreement is a written agreement between the two parties to a marriage for the purpose of deciding, among other things, how assets should be divided upon divorce and how the parties’ finances should be managed throughout the course of the marriage or civil partnership.

    Ending the ‘Blame Game’ – The Need for Divorce Reform?

    FAQ: Family

    Update on prenuptial agreements

    Every so often there is a high profile wedding or divorce which highlights throughout the media the role of prenuptial agreements. It is certainly the case that more couples are entering into a prenuptial agreement before they marry. In early 2016, when Cheryl Cole’s marriage broke down, there was a lot of speculation in the media as to whether she and her husband had entered into a prenuptial agreement, and if they hadn’t, what the extent of his potential claim against her might be.

    Top 25 UK Law Firm

    We are pleased to receive, for another year, the accolade from eprivateclient of being listed as one of the Top 25 Law Firms in the UK.

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