Pre-Nuptial Agreements

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Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more common. They are not just for the rich or celebrity couples and if you are contemplating getting married you should consider whether or not you need one.

At the present time, pre-nuptial agreements are not binding in a court of England and Wales. However there are steps you can take to ensure your pre-nuptial agreement is upheld.

A pre-nuptial agreement is in certain circumstances sensible financial planning and helps to avoid upset and acrimony in the event of relationship breakdown and divorce.

How to ensure your pre-nuptial agreement is upheld:

  • Obtain independent legal advice – It is strongly recommended that each party to the agreement obtains independent legal advice prior to signing.  This helps to show that you both understood the implications of the agreement when entering into it.
  • Full and frank disclosure – The parties should exchange full and frank disclosure of their assets and income. This helps to show that you were both fully aware of the financial implications of the agreement.  However, it should be noted that even where one party is indifferent to the particular details of the other party’s assets and does not therefore insist upon full disclosure, the agreement may not be given reduced weight by the court because there was not full disclosure.
  • Avoid allegations of duress or undue influence – The agreement must be entered into freely by both of you and there should be no evidence of duress or undue pressure before entering into the agreement.   A usual safeguard against allegations of duress or undue pressure is that pre-nuptial agreements should be entered into at least twenty one days before the marriage.
  • Ensure the agreement is realistic and fair – If the pre-nuptial is weighted too far in favour of one person, there is less chance of it being upheld by the court on divorce.

A pre-nuptial agreement is in certain circumstances sensible financial planning and helps to avoid upset and acrimony in the event of relationship breakdown and divorce.

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For specialist and tailored advice on pre-nuptial agreements, please contact a Family Law Solicitor at Girlings now or call into your local office.

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