Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements Solicitors

At Child Law Partnership, our expert prenuptial agreement solicitors regularly assist clients in preparing this formal agreement to safeguard their assets. If you’re looking to draft a prenuptial agreement between yourself and your spouse, contact our experienced family lawyers today on 01256 630080.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement (also known as a pre-nup) is a formal, written agreement between two partners prior to their marriage or civil partnership

It sets out ownership of all their belongings (including money, assets and property) and explains how it will be divided in the event of the breakdown of their marriage. Such agreements are not yet legally binding but they have been given legal weight in previous case law and judges are increasingly attaching more weight to prenuptial agreements and are more likely to uphold them, unless they are considered to be unfair at the time the parties get a divorce.

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Why should I get a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement will allow you to separate your own finances or property as a couple, as well as lay down arrangements for child care. It can also have huge benefits where there is a business involved.

Failure to make an agreement where a business is concerned can result in your business assets simply being divided equally, which can have a disastrous effect on the business’ future.

Prenuptial agreements can give you peace of mind if:

a) You want to protect inheritance or future inheritance, both money and assets.
b) There are assets and/or property that would be very hard to split 50/50.
c) You have children from a previous relationship and want to ensure certain assets are reserved for them and protect their inheritance rights. (It is also crucial to make a will).
d) Either party owns a business which they’d like to retain control of.
e) If your spouse has outstanding debt, a prenuptial agreement with a ‘debt clause’ can protect you from being liable.

Prenuptial agreements solicitors - Further information

When considering if the prenuptial agreement is fair and should be upheld, the court will look at things such as whether both parties understood it properly and if they had enough time to review it before signing. Therefore when a prenuptial agreement is created you need to ensure the following:

  • Both parties should have independent legal advice to increase the likelihood of the pre-nup being upheld
  • Both parties must have separate solicitors to avoid any claim of conflict of interest
  • All assets must be fully disclosed by both parties
  • Both parties must fully understand the agreement
  • Both parties must voluntarily agree to it
  • Both solicitors must confirm it was entered into freely and knowingly
  • The prenuptial agreement should be signed at least 21 days before the marriage

When we advise a client about a relationship that has broken down and a prenuptial agreement is in place, we ask certain questions. These include:

  • How soon before the wedding was the prenuptial agreement signed?
  • Was any pressure placed on the parties to sign it?
  • How was it negotiated?
  • Was there any negotiation at all, or was the agreement imposed on one party?
  • Was there full and frank disclosure of the finances of both parties?
  • Did both parties receive legal advice?

If you are already married and want an agreement in place to define what will happen in the event of the marriage ending, then a postnuptial agreement (or postnup) can effectively do the same things as a prenup, except postnups are signed after marriage has occurred. However, it must be stressed that neither agreements are legally binding in the UK.

Contact our prenuptial agreement solicitors

With seven offices located around Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire & Wiltshire, we have a strong regional coverage and regularly assist clients throughout the UK with preparing prenuptial agreements.

If you are ready to draft a prenuptial agreement or would like some further legal advice, please get in touch with a member of our family law team today. Call us today on 01256 630080 or complete our online enquiry form.

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