Benefits Of Prenuptial And Post-Nuptial Agreements

By Victoria Richardson - 17th March 2021

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Unfortunately, the reality these days is that more and more marriages and relationships come to an end, resulting in a number of difficult decisions regarding financial matters. Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements are useful tools which allow couples to agree from the outset (or shortly after marriage) how these difficult decisions will be made if their relationship breaks down.

Currently, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements are not strictly legally binding. However, if they are properly drafted and executed, they can be very persuasive in the event of a dispute later on. In order to maximise their usefulness, parties need to ensure that their agreement meets very specific criteria. The law surrounding these documents can be complicated. That is where we can help. Our nuptial solicitors offer clear and pragmatic advice regarding the protection (and division) of your assets. Doing this at the start of your marriage can be more cost effective and less stressful than dealing with it later, at the time of a separation or divorce.

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Advantages of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement

The advantages of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement include:

Clarity: you and your partner can make it clear to one another that certain property belongs to you alone and will not be shared on divorce. Such property is often referred to by family lawyers as ‘non-matrimonial property’.

Certainty: you and your partner can agree how your finances will be divided if you later separate or divorce. This will save you both the uncertainty, time and stress of litigating about your finances if you do later separate or divorce.

Transparency: you and your partner should provide financial disclosure of your assets and income in the agreement, so you will both be aware of the value of each other's assets. This will assist you in your negotiations.

Save money: while there are legal fees associated with the preparation of a prenuptial/post-nuptial agreement, it is cheaper than arguing in Court about the division of your finances, should you later separate or divorce.

Protection of assets: you and your partner can protect assets you may wish to ‘ringfence’ from one another, such as inherited assets, family heirlooms, an interest in a family business, gifts received from a third party, or property acquired before the marriage. If the agreement ringfences such property, the court is less likely to award a share of that property to the other party on divorce.

Debt protection: if your partner has significant debts, either now or in the future, the agreement can be used to protect your assets from being used to satisfy those debts. This will also be the case with any debts you may have now or in the future.

Protection of family members: you both may have children from a previous relationship or marriage. A nuptial agreement can protect the financial interests of children by ensuring certain assets are ringfenced for them.

Minimises acrimony on divorce: setting out how assets are to be divided on divorce in a pre-arranged agreement should lead to fewer arguments about finances, should you later separate. This could help to promote a more amicable relationship between you, which will be especially important if you have children together.

Improves communication: discussing financial issues is one of the most difficult aspects of marriage. Dealing with this now may strengthen your relationship.

Protection of business partners: you or your partner may have an interest in a family or small private business. The prenuptial/post-nuptial agreement can protect that interest and prevent disruption to the business if the marriage breaks down in the future.

Provision on death: the nuptial agreement can set out what should happen to your assets on your death. This can support the provision contained in your Will and clarify what should happen to certain assets. For example, the inheritance prospects of children and grandchildren can be protected in the agreement.

Freedom to agree your own terms: you and your partner may have a creative plan for dividing your assets in the event you divorce. A nuptial agreement provides you with the freedom to agree your own terms without the court imposing a solution on you.

Contact our Family Law Solicitors

If you have recently got engaged, married or entered into a civil partnership, please contact us at Aticus Law. We offer expert legal advice regarding both prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements. We can also help you draft an agreement, ensuring your assets are protected for the years to come.

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