What does a prenuptial agreement cover?
Every prenuptial agreement is individual to each couple and will be tailored to their particular and unique circumstances.
Here are a few circumstances in which you may wish to consider a prenuptial agreement before entering into marriage with your partner:
- You have children from a previous relationship that you wish to set funds aside for
- You own or run a business and want to ensure your interests in it are protected
- You own property that you wish to keep separate
- You have substantial wealth that you wish to protect
A detailed document providing for the distribution of assets on any subsequent relationship breakdown creates certainty and aims to remove or reduce any acrimony that might otherwise exist when negotiating a financial settlement.
You would only need to refer back to the agreement if things didn’t work out : one of the benefits of a prenuptial agreement is keeping a divorce amicable and as pain-free as possible.
Is a prenuptial agreement legally binding?
Provided that certain safeguards are met, it is likely that the Court will give the agreement very significant weight in the event of any subsequent divorce. Safeguards include but are not limited to:
- Both parties entering into the agreement freely;
- Ensuring that proper provision is made for any children;
- Full and frank disclosure.
Our friendly family lawyers are adept at advising on and drafting prenuptial agreements and postnuptials, too, and are very experienced in highlighting relevant details that may otherwise have been missed.
What's the difference between prenup and postnup?
Both prenups and postnups are designed to protect your finances in the event of a divorce.
Divorce can be costly and having these arrangements could potentially save you thousands.
A prenuptial agreement is signed before marriage, whereas a postnuptial agreement is arranged whilst you are already married.
Both legal documents are intended to protect assets such as a business, property, possessions and fortune in the event of a divorce.
Arrangements for the care for children and other aspects of parenting can also be addressed in either of these agreements, if relevant.
Are postnuptial agreements enforceable?
A postnuptial agreement is a legally binding document – just like a prenup. Should your marriage result in divorce, your assets are more likely to be protected by having a postnup than not having had one.
In order to be valid, postnuptial agreements must, at a minimum, meet the following requirements:
- Written down in a formal document – verbal agreements will not be considered;
- Both parties must have voluntarily signed the agreement;
- The agreement must be fair. An agreement that is entirely one sided and unjust towards an individual, based on circumstances, will not be enforceable.
What can and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement will be tailored around your circumstances.
You can include any shared or individually owned financial assets, like property, money or businesses.
However, you won’t be able to include any private domestic matters.
How am I protected in the event of a divorce?
Your assets aren’t automatically protected in the event of a divorce. Even if you bought your house yourself, everything essentially gets placed in the matrimonial ‘pot’ to be shared.
Having an agreement like a prenup or postnup in place can be expensive initially, but, should the worst happen, it could save you lots of money.
These agreements are now fully recognised in our law and are the best way to try to ring-fence and protect your assets.