What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple before they get married or enter into a civil partnership. The contract sets out how finances and other assets will be divided if the relationship breaks down to a point beyond repair.
What is included in a pre-nuptial agreement?
The contents of a pre-nuptial agreement will vary from couple to couple depending on their circumstances. However, they will typically contain details on the division of property and assets as well as details relating to maintenance for any children.
Couples can agree to include anything they wish in their pre-nuptial agreement, but there is no guarantee that this will be upheld if challenged in court. These agreements do still offer good guidance for a court looking to deal with the consequences of a relationship breakdown.
These agreements are becoming more common as a means of safeguarding wealth where one party to a marriage/civil partnership has assets they want to protect in the event the relationship breaks down.
They are also usually the basis of any post-nuptial agreement with a common provision in many pre-nuptial agreements that it will be transposed into a Post Nuptial Agreement post-wedding or civil partnership.
What is the legal standing of a pre-nuptial agreement?
In the past, pre-nuptial agreements have not typically been considered legally binding by courts in England and Wales, despite the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Radmacher v Granatino.
The court will look at each case on its own merit and consider the following factors:
- If there has been complete financial disclosure
- If the agreement was entered into in good time, at least three weeks before the wedding
- Whether there has been an excessive influence on either party
- If independent legal advice has been taken by each party
However, a court may still uphold the agreement even if the criteria are not met.
Is a Post-Nuptial agreement similar to a Pre-Nuptial?
A post-nuptial agreement contains many of the same provisions as a pre-nuptial agreement but is a contract entered into after a couple marry or enter a civil partnership.
It provides more certainty than a pre-nuptial agreement and it is highly recommended that any pre-nuptial is converted to a post-nuptial after marriage as it gives better protection ahead of a relationship breakdown.
A post-nuptial agreement falls under the definition of a ‘maintenance agreement’, which makes it binding unless there is a good reason for it to be void or unenforceable.
Like a pre-nuptial agreement a court will consider the factors mentioned earlier in the article to ensure that it has been entered into fairly, with full disclosure.
How Cartwright King can help?
Our dedicated family law specialists have extensive knowledge of nuptial agreements and are ready to guide you through the process of setting up an agreement.
We handle all of our cases with the intention of protecting your assets should your relationship move to a point beyond reconciling.
Our experts understand the potential implications of these agreements and have the know-how to prepare an agreement that will likely be upheld by the courts.
For more information go to https://cartwrightking.co.uk/services/family-law/
All advice is correct at time of publication.