Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial Agreements

Protection of wealth

Whatever stage you are at in your relationship, it is possible to protect what each of you owns and detail how assets will be divided should you part ways. A pre-nuptial agreement is a term for the document drawn up if you are about to get married and a post-nuptial agreement is used after you are married or enter into a civil partnership.

On top of protecting wealth, these agreements can also detail other vital issues, such as arrangements for where any children will live and financial support for them should a split in the family unit occur.

There has been a rise in the number of these agreements since a Supreme Court ruling which recommended that, although not currently legally binding in England and Wales, courts should give significant consideration to upholding carefully considered agreements providing a number of criteria have been followed.

Why pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements are a good idea:

It doesn’t seem very romantic does it to enter into such an agreement with someone you are planning to spend the rest of your life with! 

And, for young couples starting out on a level playing field it may seem even less necessary.

However, what would happen if one of you carved out a career which was much more lucrative than your partner’s.  Or one of you inherited a lot of money or items of sentimental value from family.  It may be one of you set up your own business which made you very wealthy.  Then, if your relationship was to break down at some point in the future, it may not feel like the playing field is level anymore!

Often the above circumstances apply to married couples and those in civil partnerships too.

For second marriages or first marriages later in life, it can be even more crucial to have agreements in place.  One party may have wealth and/or possessions prior to the relationship beginning.  There may be children from previous relationships who need financially protecting.  And, whilst no one wants to believe they are entering into a relationship that will fail, unfortunately, some will.

A pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement can also detail, alongside a will, what will happen should one or both of the parties die, thereby providing even more reassurance.

Courts and Agreements

To ensure the court is likely to uphold the terms of an agreement, it is important that both parties have disclosed their assets to each other and that the terms of the agreement produce a result that is fair and reasonable.

Both parties are required to be given the opportunity to seek legal advice before signing any agreement and there should be no suggestion of one party being pressured by the other to sign.

A pre-nuptial agreement should be signed at least three weeks before the wedding takes place.

Couples can enter a post-nuptial agreement at any time during the marriage. Because the agreements are not legally binding, in the event of a divorce dispute, the court can use its powers to vary a “post-nuptial settlement” if it considers the agreement to be unfair.

Life’s Chapters and Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial Agreements

Sarah has noticed a rise in demand for agreements to be drafted and, as a divorce solicitor, can wholeheartedly see the benefit in them.

And, it’s because she is an experienced divorce solicitor that her clients looking for agreements benefit so greatly – from her wealth of knowledge of dealing with relationship breakdowns and of court rulings.  Sarah has vast experience in cases involving professionals, business assets and pensions.

Sarah's hand holds her clients, guiding them through the process from start to finish, ensuring everything is explained and considered.  She is there to ensure that agreements are reasonable, fair, and will be seen as such by a court, should it ever come to that!

Whilst discussing the terms for an agreement may feel uncomfortable, you can be sure you are in safe hands with Sarah preparing your pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement.

Sarah is just at the end of an email so drop her a line:

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