When considering whether to enter into a marriage or civil partnership, it is important to bear in mind the implications of a marriage, both in relation to your finances, assets, and business interests. At FisherWright Solicitors or solicitors possess a wealth of experience in Family Law and Pre-Nuptial Agreements. Our solicitors will not only understand the matters which are important to you, but will thoroughly assess the intricacies of your finances and other interests to ensure that all your assets are protected in the best possible manner.
What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
A pre-nuptial agreement is a formal document, which records the agreement between two parties, outlining all or some of their assets and how they are to be divided should either party commence proceedings for divorce.
The benefits of entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement
Whilst Pre-Nuptial Agreements cannot supersede the decision of the Court in relation to the division of your assets, a Pre-Nuptial Agreement will still be an effective document to organise and protect your financial assets and give both parties a sense of certainty as to how each parties finances are likely to be divided in the unfortunate event of a divorce.
A pre-nuptial agreement will also minimise the chances of conflict on divorce, protect the interests of any children from previous marriages, protect inheritance or trusts that were previously acquired before the divorce and also be used to prevent you from being liable for debts in the name of your spouse.
Will my Pre-Nuptial Agreement be legally binding?
As outlined above, Pre-Nuptial Agreements whilst an effective tool to record an agreement between both parties, cannot oust the decision of a Court; this effectively means that such agreements are not strictly binding and that either you or your spouse may upon divorce seek remedy in respect of the division of your matrimonial finances.
However, the Court can and is likely to uphold the terms of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement if it perceives that the terms of the agreement are ‘fair’.
In considering fairness, the Court will have regards to all circumstances including, whether parties have exchanged sufficient disclosure of financial assets, had received full independent legal advice, whether the terms of the agreement will fulfill the essential needs of both you and your spouse on divorce, whether you or your spouse were under duress, or any issues of fraud arise, and lastly whether parties intended to be bound by the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement.
What can a Pre-Nuptial Agreement include?
As a Pre-Nuptial agreement is a specialised and personal document between both parties, you and your partner at a discretion to include any provisions that you may wish to, however, prior to entering a Pre-Nuptial Agreement specialist advice should be sought regarding the proposed terms of your agreement and whether these terms are likely to be considered as fair by the Court.
- Whether you or your spouse have any properties and how they should be divided;
- Division of the Matrimonial Home;
- Provisions regarding Inheritance;
- Provisions regarding Trusts;
- Liability for debts;
- Maintenance upon divorce;
- A clause for the review of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement following a passage of some years;
- Provisions regarding the confidentiality of such agreements;
- Provisions for your children;
- Protection of your pension;
- Provisions to protect your savings;
- Provisions to protect personal possessions