PRE AND POST NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS
Following the landmark decision in the case of Radmacher v Granatino in October 2010, which gave "decisive" weight to prenuptial agreements, Spectrum Family Law has seen a marked rise in the number of clients contacting us about a prenuptial agreement in the UK.
Prenuptial agreements (prenups) are perceived by some to be pessimistic and unromantic. Others argue that a prenup can circumvent time, expense and acrimony. It is important to note that prenuptial agreements are still not legally enforceable in England and Wales – at least for now. The Law Commission is due to make its recommendations to the Government soon. In the meantime, however, judges are attaching more weight to prenuptial agreements and are more likely to uphold them.
When we advise a client about a relationship that has broken down, when a prenuptial agreement is in place, we ask certain questions. These include:
- How soon before the wedding was the prenuptial agreement signed?
- Was any pressure placed on the parties to sign it?
- How was it negotiated?
- Was there any negotiation at all, or was the agreement imposed on one party?
- Was there full and frank disclosure of the finances of both parties?
- Did both parties receive legal advice?
In our experience, a prenuptial agreement is more likely to be upheld if its contents are reasonable, clearly not out of date (providing for future children, for example, and preferably a review after a period of time) and if it was properly drafted with full disclosure. Be warned: if you don't want to sign – don't.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, or you have signed a prenuptial agreement and would like advice, contact us at Spectrum Family Law.
Provided you each take independent legal advice it is possible to enter into an agreement over how finances should be regarded and divided after separation, even after you have already married or entered into a civil partnership. These are referred to as post nuptials and will be subject to the same principles as a prenuptial.
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