Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements

Call us today on 020 3621 0111 to speak to us about pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

Prior to getting married, couples who have their own assets may want to consider whether they would like to try and protect those assets should the worst happen. While most people enter into marriage hoping it will last forever, it is important to know what can happen to assets if the relationship breaks down.

Prior to getting married it is sensible to make yourself aware of the rights that arise through marriage regarding claims for capital, income and pensions. You may then want to discuss matters with your partner and agree to record what your intentions regarding those assets are in a pre-nuptial agreement. If you are already married and decide that you wish to record your intentions afterwards, this can be done in a postnuptial agreement.

As a family law specialist, we can assist you with pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements and can provide you with specialist advice throughout.

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Bellwether Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA number 627330.
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Pre-nuptial agreements

Pre-nuptial and pre-civil partnership agreements are legal agreements which are entered into prior to a marriage or civil partnership taking place. A pre-nuptial agreement  will set out how assets will be divided if a couple later splits up. Anyone can enter into a pre-nuptial agreement, but they are often entered into when there is a disparity in income or capital, or where parties want to ‘ring fence’ a particular assets which has, for example, been acquired prior to the relationship.

Pre-nuptial agreements can provide couples with reassurance  as, whilst not necessarily binding on the court, they do give clarity as to the parties intentions at the time they were entered into and, should the relationship break down, they can set out the responsibilities of each party and the rights they have. They can record both parties wishes regarding financial settlements on divorce and make the process easier and less stressful for both parties.

A pre-nup can cover a range of areas, from property and mortgage payments to pensions and savings. It can also be beneficial to have this type of agreement in place when children from a previous relationship are involved, protecting their current and future needs.

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Post-nuptial agreements

A post-nuptial agreement is a legal agreement between a married couple, and like a pre-nuptial agreement, it can also set out how finances and assets should be divided should you divorce or separate. The difference with this type of agreement is that it is made after a couple has already married or are in a civil partnership.

There are various reasons couples may want a post-nuptial agreement. You may have run out of time to get a pre-nuptial agreement before the wedding, you want to protect a recent inheritance, your financial circumstances may have changed or may may like to try to alleviate concerns about the future.

Are post and pre-nuptial agreements legally binding?

While increasingly common, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements are not necessarily legally binding in England and Wales. However, the court will often take them into consideration, especially if they have been entered into correctly and fairly.

By using an experienced family lawyer to help you formulate your pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, it can encourage the Judge to give the document more weight when making their decision as you will have been legally advised.

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Get expert legal advice

In order to give the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement the best chance of being upheld at a later date, before signing it is  vital that both parties take independent legal advice. It is also imperative that there has been full and frank financial disclosure (so that it is clear that you knew what was “in the post” and that the document as not signed to close in time to the wedding (so the court can be sure that you understood the implications of what you were agreeing to and did not feel pressure to sign).

At Bellwether Solicitors, we offer specialist legal services for nuptial agreements, covering all aspects of their preparation and completion. We can also help you review an existing pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement as and when your circumstances change and you feel it should be updated. Updating a nuptial agreement is always advisable as it will show the court that the issues were considered after the change in circumstances and should therefore be upheld.

We also provide a range of family law services for cohabitation issues for non-married couples, including separation agreements.

Are you looking for a family law expert? Get in touch

With offices in Cheam and Kingston-upon-Thames, we offer our family law services across the area. Arrange an initial consultation with one of our team to get more advice about pre and post-nuptial agreements.