Pre and postnuptial agreements are increasingly popular in this country as more and more couples are alarmed by the potential cost, both financial and emotional, of getting divorced.
Couples may choose to set out in a document what will happen in the event that their marriage or civil partnership breaks down.
The most common reasons for having a prenuptial agreement are:
Protection of inherited or family wealth or where there is a disparity in wealth between a couple
Second marriages: when one or both parties want to preserve some element of their estate for their children from a previous relationship
Private companies where there are shareholders agreements in place
Where there may be a debate as to which country divorce proceedings will be heard
Our clients enter into prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements in order to provide the following:
Clarification As to how the financial affairs will be conducted during the marriage. This allows the couples to have transparency about how the finances will operate during the marriage. Without prior thought, this can often be an issue in a marriage.
Certainty Because it allows a couple to formally agree on how their assets should be divided if they later separate or divorce.
Protection To protect inherited assets or pre-marital wealth from financial claims of the other party on divorce. A nuptial agreement can limit the scope for uncertainty in the event of the future breakdown of the marriage.
Prenuptial agreements are not recognised in this country by statute. This has led many to question their value. However, there have been a number of important cases where the judges have been prepared to reflect the terms of prenuptial agreements when making their decisions about the division of assets on divorce.
These cases essentially create a three-stage test of fairness. To have the greatest chance of being upheld:
The agreement should be freely entered into.
The parties should have a full appreciation of the implications of the agreement.
It must be fair to hold the parties to the agreement at the time of the divorce.
Crucially, these cases highlight the importance of obtaining legal advice to prepare a document that accurately reflects the parties’ wishes, whilst at the same time producing an overall fair division.
We can provide straightforward advice that will help you to identify whether a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement is appropriate for you and what terms should be included in that agreement. We are sensitive to the emotional side of negotiating an agreement at this time in your life. We have significant experience in drafting these agreements for clients from all walks of life and who have international links or assets abroad. We understand the interplay between marriage contracts.
There are recommended time limits for the completion of premarital agreements. We are experienced in drafting the documents and concluding them in the best interests of our clients.
Rayden Solicitors is committed to equality and diversity and in doing so supports and advises all members of our community.
If your circumstances change after marriage, take a look at our postnuptial page.