People entering second marriages or who want to protect their wealth for their children should the marriage end can benefit from making a prenuptial agreement. This should be done in conjunction with other estate and financial planning at the time. Our Solicitors can organise a full overview of your financial position to secure the future you want.
Prenuptial agreements are not binding on the Court and so cannot be taken as a certainty in the event of a marital breakdown. However, with the right steps taken in advance, a prenuptial agreement can add weight to any argument at Court and may be persuasive.
In order for a prenuptial agreement to have a strong chance of standing up to a challenge, it should have several fully documented attributes:
- The agreement must be free of any taint of coercion or duress
- It should be prepared and negotiated between solicitors, with each person advised separately and independently
- It must be based on full disclosure of all assets, liabilities and property interests, including those overseas
- It should be negotiated and executed at least three months prior to marriage
Prenuptial agreements have a shelf life. Changed circumstances, especially the birth of children during the marriage, can have a significant effect on the later fairness of the agreement, and it can be advisable to review and renegotiate the terms of the agreement on a periodic basis as the family's fortunes change. This work can be undertaken in conjunction with the periodic review of your Wills, assets and investments. We can also look to draw what is known as a postnuptial agreement at the same time.
A postnuptial agreement is the same as a prenuptial agreement, but entered into following the marriage or civil partnership.
The Court will look at several factors when considering whether or not to uphold a pre or post nuptial agreement and hold the parties to its terms. In particular it will consider whether or not each party has provided the other with full and frank disclosure of their assets and income, whether each party has willingly entered into the agreement and obtained independent legal advice, whether or not the agreement is reasonable and fair rather than be weighted too heavily in favour of one of the parties and whether it has provided for any future changes. Please contact us for further information.
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