Legal Advice on Pre-nuptial & Post-nuptial Agreements
As a matter of English Law pre and post nuptial agreements are not legally binding. A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement entered into prior to a marriage taking place whereas a post nuptial agreement is entered after the marriage.
Pre-nuptial agreements are often entered into to make provision for wealth already invested in a party or to make provision for wealth that may be received in the future.
Post-nuptial agreements are usually entered into where parties wish to separate but for whatever reason it may be, do not wish to petition for divorce at the present time. They therefore act as a holding position until the parties are able to or wish to petition for divorce.
In determining what orders should be made as part of the financial aspects of a divorce the Court will have regard to a pre or post nuptial agreements as just one part of the aspect of the case. Providing a pre-nuptial agreement is freely entered into, fair and both parties have legal advice the provisions are often upheld.
If you wish to enter into a pre or post nuptial agreement it is important you receive legal advice, bespoke to your circumstances. Please feel free to contact one of our Solicitors, if you wish to discuss this.
Some important facts you need to be aware of:
- A pre-nuptial agreement must be entered into at least 28 days prior to the date of marriage. This avoids any accusations from either party that undue pressure was placed on a party to enter into it.
- To some extent, a pre-nuptial agreement asks both parties to look towards the future and predict what may happen. You need to be prepared to have these discussions with your spouse if you wish to do so and decide what you would want to do.
- A pre or post nuptial agreement upheld by the Court will provide certainty and reduce overall long term legal costs in the event of separation.
- A Court would expect both parties to fully disclose the extent of their assets and interests so as to allow the other party to make an informed choice about the extent of the claims they may be forgoing.
- If either party disputes the contents of a pre-nuptial agreement this can lengthen the Court process to the extent that the Court will have to decide what level of weight, if any, should be placed on the document.
- Pre-nuptial agreements are often entered into to preserve inherited wealth or company/business interests.
- An agreement that is fair at the time of its creation will not necessarily be fair at the point it is to be determined by the Court.