Are you getting married and wish to protect your financial assets?

Solicitors Specialising in Pre & Post-Nuptial Agreements

Prior to getting married, it’s sensible to discuss your financial arrangements and consider whether it’s appropriate to consider a pre-nuptial agreement. This will set out how you wish your assets to be dealt with in the event of a future separation or divorce. Pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically enforceable in this country, but they are evidence of an agreement in the event that the marriage breaks down.

If both parties have disclosed their assets and circumstances have not substantially changed, then the Court can take this agreement into account in the event of a dispute upon the breakdown of the marriage. In circumstances where there are substantial assets, or there are children from prior marriages, this additional protection may be particularly important. We will help you with the drafting of this agreement and advise you upon the contents. If you are, however, already married or shortly due to be married then it will be necessary for a Post-Nuptial Agreement as opposed to a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. Post-Nuptial Agreements carry the same weight as a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, providing that they have been prepared and executed correctly.

The case of Radmacher v Granatino has changed the position of the status of these Agreements within the Family Courts. If a number of factors as set out within the case are met, then the parties are more likely to be held to that Agreement upon the breakdown of the marriage. One such factor being that both parties have obtained independent legal advice.

We can help with the negotiations where necessary, or we can assist with merely drafting the agreement that you have already reached. We can also involve our team of Wills, Inheritance and Probate solicitors if required, who can bring in tax advisers and specialists if there’s any doubt that the agreement you’re seeking to reach could have far-reaching implications on your UK or worldwide tax position.

We have a team of specialist Family and Matrimonial solicitors in Essex, and we have offices across the region and in London. If you require legal advice relating to a pre or post-nuptial agreement, please contact BTMK by calling 03300 585 222 or by sending an email to info@btmk.co.uk.

Why Instruct Our Family and Matrimonial Solicitors?

BTMK’s specialist team of Family and Matrimonial solicitors have worked on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements of all sizes, including high-net worth cases with complex business interests and sizable financial assets.

Our highly experienced Family and Matrimonial solicitors will:

  • Take the time to explain your options and what you and your partner should include in your Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement.
  • If applicable, work with your accountant, financial advisor or overseas solicitor to ensure that the agreement meets your needs.
  • Using a collaborative process, help you and your partner negotiate the terms set out in a Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial agreement.
  • Advise you on how to ensure that your Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial meets the criteria as set out in Radmacher v Granatino.

FAQs

Can a Pre or Post-Nuptial Agreement be referred to in Court?

At present, Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements are not legally binding in the UK. However, when entered into freely (and both parties understood the financial assets available at the time) and the require criteria are met, the Court will have to find a very good reason to depart from them in the event of a dispute.

Can future inheritance be protected in a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Yes. Future inheritance can be included as “separate property” which is identified as property that the agreement excludes, which would otherwise be shared in the event of divorce. We recommend that you include details of your future inheritance and review the agreement once you’ve received the inheritance to ensure it still meets your needs.

Does a Pre-Nuptial Agreement Affect a Will?

In an ideal scenario, an up-to-date Will should reflect the terms included in a Pre-Nuptial Agreement and vice-versa. If someone passes away and their Pre-Nuptial Agreement contradicts what’s included in their Will, this could give rise to certain disputes, so it’s important to get both of the documents aligned.

Do I really need to give full financial disclosure?

Yes. Accurate disclosure of financial matters within Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements is of utmost importance. This is to make sure they’re valid if presented in the Court. If either party fails to provide accurate details of their finances, either of these agreements will be invalid from the offset and may cause serious complications during divorce proceedings.

How long do Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements last?

Both types of agreements are contracts, so how long they remain valid for can be agreed upon and included in the terms, although there must be provision for the Agreements to be reviewed.

Can a Pre-Nuptial Agreement include children arrangements?

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement must include provisions for the financial needs of any children, otherwise, the Court could waive the agreement and make its own decision. A Pre-Nuptial Agreement can also set out child residence and contact arrangements in the event of divorce.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Cohabitation Agreement is an agreement between a couple who are not married but are living together. By signing this type of agreement, a cohabiting couple can give themselves the same protections that are normally only afforded to married couples. Such an agreement can determine what will happen to shared assets, children, property and other important matters that will need solving should a relationship break down.

Jaime-Lee Johns

Family & Matrimonial

Lee Wilcockson

Family & Matrimonial

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