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& Post-Nuptial Agreements
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement or contract is a formal written agreement, usually prepared by lawyers, which is entered into by the parties to a marriage prior to their marriage (or civil partnership) and which sets out the ownership of the couples assets at the time of marriage.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement should also specify in writing exactly how the couple agree the assets will be divided up between themselves in a divorce.
A Post-Nuptial Agreement is entered into after the marriage (or civil partnership) but otherwise achieves exactly the same thing.
Although these types of agreements are not legally binding, following the 2010 Supreme Court case of Radmacher v Granatino, in any divorce proceedings, a court must now attach considerable weight to a Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement and hold parties to the terms agreed unless it can be proved that:
- It not entered into freely by both parties; or
- Either party did not have a full appreciation of the agreement when signing; or
- It would be unfair to require that either party is held to terms of the agreement.
It is therefore strongly recommended that each party to the agreement obtains independent legal advice from a lawyer before signing. Also the parties should confirm that they have made a full and frank disclosure of all of their assets which are then listed in writing.
Generally the agreement should be completed at least one month before the date of any marriage to avoid allegations of emotional pressure suggesting that the agreement was snot entered into freely.
At Guthrie & Co Lawyers we are highly experienced in preparing Pre-Nuptial Agreements ranging from the very straightforward to the more complex.