No one goes into a marriage thinking that it won’t work out, but unfortunately the sad reality is that more than one in three marriages end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be a simple but effective way to safeguard your interests should your marriage breakdown.
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A prenuptial agreement helps to protect financial assets from before your marriage, and sets out what should happen if you divorce or dissolve your civil partnership.
It must be made before you get married and can clearly set out the basis for dividing your assets and jointly owned assets such as property, investments and pensions.
It can also clearly set out what type of maintenance may be paid in the event of a divorce. The agreement may also set out different conditions for dividing your assets depending on the reasons for a divorce.
Of course it’s hard to think about your relationship failing when it’s only just begun, but if you’re not protected with a prenuptial agreement before you tie the knot, the effect could be devastating.
Do I need a prenuptial agreement?
You may wish to think about getting a prenuptial agreement if:
- there is international aspect to your relationship,
- this is not your first marriage or you have children from a previous relationship, or
- you have substantial assets which you have acquired before your relationship which you would like to preserve.
Depending on your circumstances, we will advise you about the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement.
What if I have already married?
You may still be able to safeguard your interests by entering into something called a postnuptial agreement. Our team can answer any questions you may have on postnuptial agreements and can give you clear and simple advice on how a prenuptial agreement can protect your assets.
Frequently asked questions about prenuptial agreements
In recent years, the Courts have been finding prenuptial agreements increasingly determinative in deciding a financial settlement within divorce proceedings. We can advise you on how to maximize the strength of your prenuptial agreement in Court. The agreement must be fair and it must follow certain legal formalities. It is always best for both you and your partner to obtain independent legal advice before signing.
A prenuptial agreement needs to be finalised within a reasonable time (broadly 3-4 weeks at least) before the date of your wedding. If the agreement was made right before the date of the wedding, there may be concerns about one person being inappropriately pressurised into signing.
If you would like to discuss a prenuptial agreement, we would advise you to contact us a few months before the date of the wedding.
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