Although couples do not marry expecting that their relationship will break down, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to enter a prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a pre-nup.
The family law team at Lupton Fawcett has helped many people protect their assets by drafting a prenup to ease tension should they separate from their partner.
If you require advice or support with a prenuptial agreement, contact our Yorkshire-based solicitors today by calling 0333 323 5292. Alternatively, fill in our online form and we will get back to you shortly.
What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement sets out arrangements, which both parties have agreed, should a marriage breakdown, or should a spouse pass away. The purpose of a prenup is to encourage solutions to be made with as little emotional stress and expense as possible. Matters that can be addressed in a pre-nup include:
- Financial settlements
- Division of assets
- Details about future arrangements for children
- Property and estate claims
It is also possible to address matters in a postnuptial agreement (postnup) after you have entered into marriage. This can be approached as a way of reviewing or varying an existing prenuptial agreement.
At Lupton Fawcett, we aim to give you peace of mind during your marriage that your assets are protected. Our solicitors are on hand to draw up agreements, answer your questions or queries or represent you should you need to go to court, if there is a challenge to the provisions of a prenuptial agreement.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.
Are Pre-Nuptial Agreements Binding?
At the current time, prenups are not legally binding in England and Wales. However, the courts are increasingly taking the view that where fair agreements are entered into with full financial disclosure and with each of you having the benefit of legal advice, a dissatisfied party should remain bound by the terms of any made agreement.
In February 2014, the Law Commission recommended a change in the law to introduce 'qualifying nuptial agreements' which would, as long as certain safeguards are satisfied, allow for the terms of such agreements to be enforced by the parties.
Whilst the change in law is awaited, the courts are enforcing implementing agreements where they are fair, have been entered into by parties with full financial disclosure and legal advice and where the needs of any child are not disregarded.
Applying for a Pre-Nuptial Agreement
One of the key factors any court must take into account when considering the terms of a pre-nup is the needs of the two parties. No agreement can ever be allowed to prejudice the reasonable requirements of a child.
If the agreement is to carry weight, the parties must enter into it of their own free will, without any undue influence or pressure and have a full awareness of each other’s financial circumstances.
The principle of autonomy is an extremely important consideration and is undoubtedly the driving force behind more and more couples choosing to regulate their own financial affairs.
The longer a marriage has lasted the more likely that unknown and unforeseen contingencies will affect the parties' rights. This is more likely to make it unfair to hold the parties to their agreement. Such circumstances are, however, likely to be fact-specific and agreements can always be reviewed from time to time or if a significant event occurs that may impact of the terms of the agreement.
Contact Us for Help
To speak to us about pre or postnuptial agreement, contact our Leeds, York or Sheffield office using the details below to find out more about how we can help you.
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