What is a pre or post nuptial agreement?
A Prenuptial agreement is a contract that you and your partner agree to enter into before you marry/enter a civil partnership to set out what would happen to your property and finances if you divorce.
A Post nuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement except that you and you partner enter into the contract once you are married/civil partnership
Why do I need a nuptial agreement?
Pre and post nuptial agreements are increasingly worthwhile if you have assets you want to ring-fence/protect against any future financial claims made by your spouse/civil partner. They are like an insurance policy and can also be used to protect assets likely to be received by way of future inheritance and to protect your interests if you are marrying or have married/entered into a civil partnership for a second or subsequent time.
Are prenups or postnups legally binding?
Over the last five years the higher courts in England and Wales have increasingly taken into account the provisions of pre and post nuptial agreements in financial proceedings associated with marital breakdown. The court considers not why a party should be bound by them, but the burden is on the party proving why they should not be bound by them,
How can I make sure my agreement is binding?
In order to stand the best possible chance of being upheld against any subsequent challenge, such an agreement needs to be entered into subject to legal safeguards as set out in recent judgments of the courts. These include:
- There has been an exchange of full and frank financial disclosure between the parties prior to entering into the terms of the agreement.
- Each party has the right to independent legal advice prior to entering into the agreement.
- In the case of pre-nuptial/pre-civil partnership agreements, the agreement should be entered into no later than three weeks prior to the date of the marriage/civil partnership.
- The agreement should include the provision for review at certain future points.
What would I put in a prenup or postnup?
The agreement would be tailored to your own individual needs and circumstances. That is the benefit of obtaining bespoke professional advice rather than a cheap online form. Many of our client’s ask us to encompass the following matters in their agreements but their content is entirely down to you:
- Ownership of assets/property acquired pre/post marriage in one person’s sole name
- Ownership of assets/property in joint names
- Ring fencing any pre-marital contributions/trust related assets/business interests
- How inheritances/gifts are to be treated
- Whether any maintenance will be paid by one party upon marital breakdown and, if so, how long and how will that be negotiated
- How will the interests of minor dependent children be met
- Will pensions be shared/nomination of death in service benefits
- Entitlement to cash savings/policies/other assets
- Cars/valuable items/contents
- How will debts be treated
- What will happen on the death of either party
- When will the terms of the agreement be reviewed
Speak to a specialist in our family team for a no obligation chat to see how you can ensure your current and future assets are protected by creating an agreement that is fair and reasonable.
You could get an idea of whether a pre nuptial agreement could be worthwhile by using our prenuptial calculator.
There is no time bar if you wish to marry in England or Wales but you will need to check the country in which you intend to marry but you must be divorced and have your Decree Absolute.
Research tells us that arrangements agreed between the parties are much more likely to succeed if they are made by consent. However, where one parent does not agree to those arrangements you may need to try mediation, arbitration or ultimately court proceedings to help you sort these arrangements.
These are the court proceedings that can be issued following a divorce/dissolution which will ultimately provide orders for a financial settlement.
This is a specific type of court application that is available to request an order to provide financial assistance for children from a party.