Having a prenuptial agreement or marriage agreement in place when getting married is a smart way to ensure financial matters are taken care of should the marriage or civil partnership fail and end in divorce.
In 2018, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported an 18.4% rise in divorces among heterosexual partners compared to the previous year. As a result, 107,599 couples were granted a divorce in England and Wales in 2018.
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At Lund Bennett Law, our team of divorce solicitors understands that the circumstances of every divorce will be unique to the divorcing couple. That is why we will always put your best interests first and ensure that your divorce is handled most efficiently and discretely.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two partners drafted before marriage or entering a civil partnership. You and your partner decide on the distribution and division of any separate and shared assets upon divorce, including
- joint debts
- or the financial interests of your children from a previous relationship should your marriage end in a divorce.
If you have decided to get a nuptial agreement drafted by a solicitor, it will need to meet the requirements outlined below:
- That you both have had the opportunity to obtain or preferably have both obtained independent legal advice before entering into the agreement.
- That the terms of any proposed agreement are fair or at least not patently unfair, e.g. if there are children and the agreement excludes assistance for their support or re-housing.
- There has been full disclosure of your respective financial positions.
- There is no evidence of undue influence, duress or any other form of pressure placed on either one of you.
- The agreement must be contractually valid and enforceable and made by way of a deed.
- It must contain a statement signed by each party that he or she understands that the agreement will restrict the court’s discretion to make financial orders.
- You and your partner must agree and sign your prenup at least 28 days before entering your new marriage.
At Lund Bennett Law, we advise our clients to sign their prenup before at least one witness who is not a family member and over 18. A qualified legal professional should always review prenuptial agreements. You and your partner should also seek individual legal advice. To speak to a family law solicitor about your prenup, call our offices on 0161 924 0079, or reach out to our team via our contact form.
A prenup is legally enforceable in the UK. The Court will look at several factors when considering whether or not to uphold a prenuptial agreement and hold the parties to its terms, including whether or not the agreement is fair. The Court are likely to give effect to an agreement that is entered into freely with full appreciation of the implications unless, in the circumstances, it would not be fair to hold the parties to that agreement.
Beyond this, the Court will consider whether each party has freely and knowingly entered into the agreement and obtained independent legal advice and whether it has provided for any future changes. It is always advisable to have the agreement reviewed every 5 years.
In the event that your marriage or civil partnership fails and results in a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can provide you with certainty and peace of mind over your financial future. A prenup can help you:
- Protect your income.
- Protect any pre-marital assets and yourself from your partner’s past or future debts.
- Enable you to ensure the financial support of your children from a previous relationship.
- Protect your business interests and assets.
- Protect individual property you may own prior to your new marriage.
- Protect your family’s inheritance or significant wealth, which you wish to keep separate.
There is a common misconception around prenups being reserved for the wealthy; however, this is not true. There is no minimum wealth threshold for drafting a prenuptial agreement before entering a marriage. You may wish to protect your savings as an inheritance for your children, or you may also expect a sizable inheritance in the future. There may also be a wealth disparity between you and your partner, with one having more assets than the other they wish to protect.
Costs for a prenup will vary depending on its complexity. At Lund Bennett Law, we will provide you with a cost breakdown, including taking instructions, the agreement draft, amendments, and follow up discussions.
If you have received a quote for a prenup from a third party and would like to get a second opinion, contact us for a free consultation on 0161 924 0079.
There is no set time limit on the validity of prenuptial agreements as they are individual contracts agreed between two parties, including individual terms. However, it is recommended that they are subject to review every 5 years. You should be aware that the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that events have rendered what might have seemed fair at the time of the agreement, unfair now hence why they should be reviewed to take into account any significant events such as children or a significant change in work.
Prenups are drafted before you get married to your partner. However, you can consider drafting a postnuptial agreement that can be arranged after you have entered a marriage.
Lund Bennett Law offers comprehensive, expert legal advice for clients wishing to draft prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Speak to our team on 0161 924 0079 for your free, no-obligation consultation, or you can get in touch via our contact form.
Why know no one gets married expecting to get divorced.
However, having a prenuptial agreement can offer security no matter what the future holds.
Contact us on 0161 924 0079 for your free, no-obligation consultation.