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Pre-Nuptial Agreements

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Pre-Nuptial Agreements Solicitors South Manchester & Cheshire

Marriage comes with not only emotional attachments, but also financial consequences. It might seem unromantic to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement, however, according to the Office for National Statistics 42% of marriages in 2019 ended in divorce. It is therefore important for you to consider how a divorce will impact your finances.

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

It is an agreement entered into by a couple prior to marriage which provides how their finances are to be divided in the event of divorce. 



Why should I sign a pre-nuptial agreement?

A pre-nuptial agreement stops or limits financial claims in any subsequent divorce proceedings provided that it is upheld by the court.

If a couple separates after marriage without an agreement, your spouse can make an application for spousal maintenance, seek a 50% share of all the marital assets including your business and a share of your pension. If the court upholds the agreement, your spouse’s claims will be limited to the amount of financial provision recorded in the pre-nuptial agreement.

Who should enter into a pre-nuptial agreement?

Anyone planning to marry should consult us so that we can advise them on the benefits of a pre-nuptial agreement. 
You should consider a pre-nuptial agreement if you or your partner:

    Own shares or have an interest in a family business.
    Are marrying for a second time and want to preserve assets from a previous matrimonial settlement.
    Have children from a previous relationship and want to leave assets to them on your death.
    Protect assets that you owned prior to marriage.
    Ring-fence gifts and inheritances received during the marriage.
    Protect your pension entitlement that you have accrued prior to marriage.

When should the agreement be signed?

The agreement should be signed in plenty of time before the marriage, at least 28 days. However, if there have been ongoing negotiations between solicitors and the agreement has been signed shortly before the wedding, this will not automatically invalidate the agreement but will be a factor taken into account by the court in any financial proceedings.

The agreement must be signed at least 12 months before the wedding. 

Are pre-nuptial agreements enforceable?

Pre-nuptial agreements are not binding in England and Wales. However, the court may take such agreements into account when dividing the division of the assets. The general rule following the case of Radmacher, is that the court should give effect to a pre-nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless the prevailing circumstances would make it unfair to uphold the agreement.

There is nothing inherently unfair in parties wanting to ring-fence non-matrimonial assets and exclude them from the matrimonial pot for division on divorce.

What are the benefits of a pre-nuptial agreement?

    Sets out what the parties will be entitled to on divorce.
    Protects pre-marital property and savings.
    Allows business owners to keep control of their businesses and ring-fence business assets.
    Ensures that gifts and inheritances received prior to and after the marriage are excluded from division of the matrimonial assets.
    Disparity in assets between the parties.

What is essential for a pre-nuptial agreement?

    It must be signed at least 28 days before the marriage.
    There must be no duress. 
    Full and frank financial disclosure. 
    Both parties must have received independent legal advice.
    The agreement must be fair. 

How much does the pre-nuptial agreement cost?

Our fees are £1200 plus VAT on the basis that the terms of the agreement are agreed and the assets are under £1 million.
For expert legal advice on a pre-nuptial agreement, call us for an informal chat about how we can help you or complete our online enquiry form.

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