What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a legal agreement made between two people who are about to get married. It normally states how the parties want to divide their assets if they later divorce or maybe how they want to deal with finances during the marriage.
What are the Advantages of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are appropriate for many circumstances, but typically they are made by people who are marrying for a second time, have acquired wealth prior to the marriage, those with inherited wealth or those who want to reduce the possibility of conflict if they were to divorce in the future.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are great for having that peace of mind before getting married so that both parties know exactly where they stand in all circumstances.
Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement worth entering into?
If you are sure of the agreement and are willing to be bound by the terms of the agreement then it may be worth entering into. It is certainly worth considering whether the agreement could be disadvantageous to you should you separate from your spouse in later years. It is important that you make a fair agreement for you and that you both take separate and independent legal advice from a specialist solicitor.
Will the agreement be binding?
In England and Wales the courts do not have to follow the terms of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement when dividing up the assets of the marriage but in recent years the courts have been more willing to adopt the terms of a pre-nuptial in certain circumstances. The agreement is likely to be binding if the parties enter into it of their own free will, without undue influence or pressure and if they have been informed of its implications. It must also be fair to hold the parties to their agreement. For the agreement to carry weight, it needs to be properly drawn, both parties need full knowledge of each other's financial circumstances, and both parties need to take independent legal advice before entering into the agreement. Factors which may make an agreement unfair include failure to take account of the needs of any children or the length of the marriage.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement must be fully completed at least 28 days before the wedding. Therefore, the process must be started before this to allow both parties time to obtain legal advice, get disclosure of each party's financial situation and allow both parties to sign the agreement.
Missed the deadline?
If the Pre-Nuptial Agreement is not completed in time, a Post-Nuptial Agreement may be an alternative. The difference between a Pre-Nuptial Agreement and a Post-Nuptial Agreement is that a Post-Nuptial Agreement is made between two parties who are already married.
What do I do next?
Maples Solicitors LLP has a specialist family law team who are more than happy to advise on any area of family law and the best course of action. Maples Solicitors LLP has years of experience with Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial agreements. Maples offer an initial Fixed Fee Appointment so that you can discuss what is best for you.
If you would like further advice and information, please contact Maples Solicitors LLP on 01775 722261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.