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Prenuptial and Post Nuptial Agreements

It is becoming increasingly popular prior to marriage for two people to decide they want to agree how to regulate their financial contributions to the marriage in the unhappy event that they divorce.

This is often very important in circumstances where:

  • One person brings to the marriage substantially more capital than the other; or
  • One or both are entering into a second marriage and they would like to protect assets coming with them from a first marriage.  

It is not of course very romantic, but the harsh reality is that many marriages end in divorce. Sometimes feelings of great injustice can arise where one party feels that they have contributed a significant amount to the marriage in financial terms, but are coming away with less than they think they should.  

A Prenuptial Agreement can regulate this situation and provide some certainty for a couple in the event of a divorce.

Until quite recently Prenuptial Agreements in English law were not given a great deal of weight by the courts in divorce proceedings.  However a recent Supreme Court decision has changed that.  Now, a properly constituted Prenuptial Agreement (where lawyers advised on both sides) is much more likely to be upheld than one that is homemade or does not meet the proper standards.

Dutton Gregory Divorce Solicitors can advise on and prepare the proper form of Prenuptial Agreement.  Usually this has to be completed several weeks before the wedding.  Something done at the very last moment can often be imperfect or viewed as prepared under improper influence by one party over the other.  

Post Nuptial Agreements

These are less common because once people are married they usually do not decide to regulate their financial affairs by way of some form of agreement - but it can be and is done!  Essentially it takes the same form as a Prenuptial Agreement and both parties should receive legal advice.  There is of course no reason why a couple should not regulate their affairs in this way either before or after marriage although it is usually best done prior to the ceremony.

It should be remembered that any Agreement which does not take into account the birth of children (or does not sufficiently provide for that eventuality) will hold less weight because the welfare of a minor child is paramount to all other considerations between parents.

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