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Pre & Postnuptial agreements

As a specialist family law firm we regularly assist clients with drawing up Pre and Postnuptial Agreements giving you and your partner peace of mind.

 

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Prenuptial Agreements

Postnuptial Agreements

Here are some answers to questions you may have about
Prenuptial Agreements:

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A Prenuptial Agreement is for couples who wish to protect their pre-marital assets and clarifies how both parties would like assets to be divided should the marriage or civil partnership come to an end. The agreement can include any assets, such as property, pensions, savings, even inheritances.

Why do I need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial Agreements are particularly useful if one partner is wealthier than the other, and it can also address the potential complications of children or step children from past or existing relationships.

The cost of drawing up a Prenuptial Agreement can be minimal compared to what you might risk in a contentious dispute should your relationship break down. You can also change the agreement at any time, as long as both parties are in agreement.

 

Is a Prenuptial Agreement enforceable?
The Courts view of Prenuptial Agreements

Historically, there has been an element of uncertainty about the validity of some Prenuptial Agreements. However, in a landmark case the Supreme Court decided that the Prenuptial Agreement entered into by a German heiress and her husband was held to be enforceable (Radmacher v Granatino). A Prenuptial Agreement will have a substantial impact on the judge’s decision in many cases.

In Radmacher v Granatino the Supreme Court said that the Court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement. This has helped to restore confidence that Prenuptial Agreements are becoming far more persuasive.

 

How do I get a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you have decided to marry or enter into a civil partnership and would like a Prenuptial Agreement put in place, then it is important not to leave it until the last minute. In order to offer some security, it is often recommended that a Prenuptial Agreement is prepared at the outset prior to the marriage or civil partnership and at least six weeks beforehand in order to provide some security with regards to preserving any pre-marital assets.

  • Both parties must first obtain independent legal advice. This will remove the argument, at a later date, that one party was put under undue pressure or they didn’t realise what they were signing.
  • Both parties should have professional legal advice were possible. This can also provide them with information on circumstances which you may not have already considered.
  • Full disclosure of both party’s finances must be made before the Prenuptial Agreement is prepared. We would recommend that you spend some time considering the terms of the agreement and try and make them as precise as possible. You should give serious consideration to any likely changes in your circumstances during the marriage, for example if you are planning on having children, or if you are likely to inherit or indeed retire with a healthy pension.

Prenuptial Agreements can be changed with both party’s consent, therefore it is good practice to review your agreement every so often to make sure that it still meets your requirement and wishes.

How much will it cost?

Stalwart Solicitors charges at the hourly rate of £250 and disbursements for all work in relation to Prenuptial Agreements. Please see our pricing page  for further information on our fees.  Click here to book your free 30-minute consultation.

Here are some answers to questions you may have about
Postnuptial Agreements:

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

Postnuptial Agreements are very similar in style to Prenuptial Agreements but are entered into after the marriage or civil partnership has taken place, rather than before. It provides a legal agreement as to the division of property or assets should the relationship break down.

Why do I need a Postnuptial Agreement?

For couples who are already married or have entered into a civil partnership, particularly those with children and even children from a previous relationship, drawing up a Postnuptial Agreement can act as a safeguard. These agreements can not only protect the parties assets but can also prevent potentially harmful distress in the event that the relationship breaks down later on.

 

Is a Postnuptial Agreement enforceable?

Ultimately, this is for the Court to decide.  However, there are some basic factors which need to be in place:

  • The Postnuptial Agreement must be seen to be fair
  • Full disclosure must be made of all of the assets by both parties.

When considering whether to enforce a Postnuptial Agreement, the Courts will also take the following issues into account:

  • The conduct of the parties leading up to the agreement
  • The circumstances surrounding the making of the agreement
  • Whether there was any undue pressure by one side to secure an unreasonable advantage
  • Whether the agreement was made with the benefit of independent legal advice on both sides.

 

How much will it cost?

Stalwart Solicitors charges at the hourly rate of £250 and disbursements for all work in relation to Postnuptial Agreements. Please see our pricing page  for further information on our fees. Click here to book your free 30-minute consultation.

If you are thinking of entering into a Pre or Postnuptial Agreement, Contact Us. We will be able to provide you with expert advice and guidance.