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Pre-nuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement  (often called a “prenup”) is an agreement entered into prior to marriage to provide for the protection and division of assets upon a potential future marital breakdown.

Unlike commercial contracts, such agreements are not 100% legally enforceable however they are increasingly worthwhile due to the weight that the Courts have given to prenuptial agreements over the course of the last 6 years.

They are considered to be the best method of protecting against future consequences if your marriage/ civil partnership fails.

Such agreements are used to determine the division of assets and beloningings and can be an effective method of wealth protection.

In order to stand the best possible chance of being upheld against any subsequent challenge, we advise that the agreement needs to be entered into subject to legal safeguards as set out in recent judgments of the Higher Courts.

These include:-

  • Exchange of full and frank financial disclosure between you and your partner prior to entering into the terms of the agreement.
  • You both have independent legal advice prior to entering into the agreement.
  • In the case of pre-nuptial/re-civil partnership agreements, the agreement should be entered into no later than four weeks prior to the date of the marriage/civil partnership.
  • The agreement should include the provision for review at certain future points for example after 5 years and/or the birth or adoption of any minor dependent children of the family.

If you have already married or entered into a civil partnership and are seeking to protect against future marital breakdown then you can enter into a postnuptial agreement or post-civil partnership contract.

A good way of thinking about pre and postnuptial agreements is that they are like an insurance policy. They can also be used to protect assets likely to be received by way of future inheritance and to protect your interests if you are marrying or have married/entered into a civil partnership for a second or subsequent time.

If you are thinking about entering into either a pre/postnuptial agreement or pre/post-civil partnerships contract please contact us for a free initial telephone consultation on 0113 322 9222 or email enquiries@consilialegal.co.uk 

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