Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Financial Agreements & Settlements
At Cartwright King we have a team of family solicitors who can provide you with legal advice and assistance in creating a prenuptial agreement. Our family team are on hand to assist wherever you are based. We offer a fixed fee service in some cases. In more complex cases we will provide a tailored quote.
Why make a prenuptial agreement?
When couples marry, naturally they believe they will be married for the rest of their lives. Today however, this is sadly not the case and marriage breakdowns and divorce are common place.
Making a prenuptial agreement before you marry means you are likely to have control over what will happen to your finances and assets in the event of a breakdown.
Whilst there remains no statutory provision to validate pre-nuptial agreements in England and Wales there has been growing recognition of these agreements supported by numerous high profile cases (Rachmacher v Granatino). As a result the courts are likely to follow the terms of an agreement providing certain criteria is met.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement or a ‘pre-nup’ is an agreement that is entered into before a couple are married. The agreement details how assets will be divided in the event of a marriage breakdown.
Why do I need a prenuptial agreement?
For separating couples who have not entered into a pre-nuptial agreement the court will divide marital assets from a starting position of 50/50. This could disadvantage a party who has brought greater wealth than the other into the marriage.
If parties require certainty and protection from depletion of their own assets then a pre-nuptial agreement can offer this.
What can I include in a pre-nuptial agreement?
- Personal and business assets
- Property and investments
- Safeguarding assets for children from previous relationships
- Inherited assets
- Overseas interests
- Protection from previous debts
Do we need different solicitors to draw up a prenuptial agreement?
Yes, in order for these agreements to be recognised by the court the instruction of independent solicitors by both parties is one of the criteria that must be met.
What are the other general requirements to validate an agreement?
- Full and frank disclosure of all assets by both parties
- Each party must understand the implications of the document
- The agreement must be entered into freely
- Does not unreasonably prejudice the position of any children of the family
- An element of fairness subject to the circumstances
Are Prenuptials legally binding in court?
As stated above these agreements do not have statutory validity. However, in most situations the court will look to abide by an agreement, provided it has been properly drafted by a solicitor and the above criteria is met. The courts do retain the right to ignore some or all of an agreement if they feel it is unfair.
Generally, agreements entered into properly can be highly persuasive to the financial outcome of a case.
We offer fixed fee options and have experience of dealing with more complex matters where we provide tailored quotes.
What can I do if I have already married but want to make an agreement?
A post-nuptial agreement or a ‘post-nup’ is an agreement which is entered into after a couple are married. This allows a couple to create a financial plan should their marriage end. This is dealt with in exactly the same way as a pre-nuptial agreement and the same criteria applies.
How should I proceed if I want to make a pre or post nuptial agreement?
To start with contact our team who will be able to guide you through the process and arrange a quote for you. It’s always best to get expert legal advice from a solicitor at an early stage as prenuptial agreements must follow certain principles. If these are not followed, the court may not uphold the legal document.