Nuptial Agreements (Prenup or postnup)
People planning to enter a marriage (or civil partnership) may decide to enter into an agreement illustrating what they intend to happen to their money and property if the marriage or civil partnership were to end. This is known as a prenuptial agreement (a “prenup”). Similarly, those already married or in a civil partnership may decide to regulate the terms of their marriage or civil partnership, known as a postnuptial agreement. Where there is family money or a family business, a prenuptial agreement may provide the wealthy party with some protection if the marriage ends in a divorce.
Nuptial agreements now carry greater weight when considering the distribution of financial assets upon divorce and separation. Whilst they are not strictly binding on the court in the event of a later divorce, it is possible that such an agreement may be respected and followed by the court unless the effect of the agreement would be unfair on either or both parties, particularly if children are involved.
Prenuptial agreements need to be prepared and executed well in advance of the wedding and, ordinarily at the very least 21 days beforehand.
In order for an agreement to be implemented there are certain criteria which need to be complied with, including both parties being legally advised, full disclosure taking place and there being a ‘cooling off’ period to allow both parties to reflect on the agreement.
Prenups can also take into account a change of circumstance, for example having children. The preparation of a pre-nuptial agreement can provide peace of mind and have the potential to save you or your family significant sums of money in the long run and may well prevent the loss of assets including business assets in the future.
Our family law solicitors can give you more information about nuptial agreements at any of our offices, located in Worcester, Cheltenham, Birmingham, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and the Thames Valley (Reading). We also have a serviced office in London where our family lawyers can arrange to meet you.
Contact the team today for more information.