It has long been thought that Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements are only for the rich and famous. This is not so. They are useful tools for anyone who is bringing wealth into a marriage and would wish to protect it in the event of the relationship breaking down. That wealth may have come from inheritance, business ventures or as a result of the death of a former spouse or from an earlier divorce.
The Matrimonial Court in England and Wales will look at how all assets in a marriage are to be shared and will not automatically ring fence them for the party who introduced them. If you seek to preserve assets then Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreements are an effective way of doing so. We have extensive experience of advising in relation to these Agreements for many individuals and within families where inherited wealth is significant. Each one is tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the individual. We can also give guidance in terms of raising the topic within the family or with your future spouse.
A Pre-Nuptial or Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement sets out the intentions of you and your future spouse in relation to financial matters on marriage, during the course of marriage and in the event you choose to separate. It will identify assets, confirm ownership and detail how they are to be dealt with upon separation.
Given the complexities involved and to give your Agreement the best possible chance of being enforced, it is important to take specialist advice in good time prior to marriage. There needs to be time to consider the assets and negotiate upon terms. You may wish to negotiate terms using Collaborative Law to assist.
Even if you have already married or entered into a civil partnership, you may still wish to take the precautionary step of entering into an agreement. Post Nuptial or Post Civil Partnership Agreements carry the same weight and recognition provided that they have been properly entered into as outlined above. Post Nuptial Agreements can be useful when circumstances have changed such as when inheritance is received or if parents wish to pass assets to their adult children.