Pre-marital, or Pre-Nuptial Agreements
Pre-marital Agreements, more commonly known as “Pre-Nups” are entirely distinct from “Living Together” Agreements and Cohabitation Agreements (dealt with elsewhere on this site) and should not be confused with one another. Pre-Nups are not just for the rich and famous. Increasingly ordinary couples are quite rightly choosing to enter into a legally binding contract well before they get married in order to do the best they can to plan for the future if their relationship should come to an end with the intention of safeguarding their assets and achieving certainty. The divorce statistics demonstrate that almost half of all marriages end in divorce including marriages with children and assets from previous marriages. It is therefore prudent and understandable that you would want to do all you can to protect the assets you have earned and contributed towards prior to your marriage.
If a cohabiting couple decide they wish to marry but nonetheless wish to regulate their financial and property affairs after marriage, then they should consider entering into a Pre-Nup. They are relatively easy to draw up and can lead to thousands of pounds being saved in the future should things not work out between the couple.
Ultimately, if a divorcing couple cannot reach an amicable settlement then the dispute will be decided by the Court, and under current law Pre-Nup are not binding. However, that is not to say that it is a waste of your time and money to consider entering into one. Far from it. Pre-Nups can be very persuasive in Court if they are prepared correctly. As with any contractual arrangement, we can advise you on the various steps that need to be taken to ensure that if you need to rely upon such an Agreement it will carry maximum possible weight with the divorce Judge. How much attention the divorce Judge pays to the Pre-Nup will depend upon the quality of the document itself including when it was drawn up. In deciding whether to uphold a Pre-Nup the following matters are of particular importance:
- Whether both parties took independent legal advice and knew what they were agreeing to before signing.
- That neither party signed under time or other unfair pressure or duress.
- Whether each party had made a full and frank financial disclosure prior to the signing of the document.
It should be remembered that Judges will always try to ensure that a fair solution is reached so if the content of the Pre-Nup is objectively unfair taking into account the length of the marriage, whether or not the couple have children and whether the Pre-Nup takes into account the best interests of the children’s needs then it will more than likely be ignored by the Judge.
When planning a wedding no one wants to think about the possibility of the marriage failing, but divorce statistics speak for themselves. Perhaps the statistics are saying that more people should include a Pre-Nup in their budget alongside the flowers, the cake, the photographer and the honeymoon?
Fixed Price Pre-Nup
- Straightforward £300.00 - £500.00 plus VAT
- Some negotiation £500.00 - £1,000.00 plus VAT
- Complex Hourly rate plus VAT