Prenuptial agreements

Protect assets before you marry, then enjoy your future together

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The Prenuptial agreement protects assets you have built up before your marriage

It’s a sad reality that more than one in three marriages ends in divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be a simple but effective way to safeguard your interests should your marriage breakdown. It is often a good idea to take advice about a prenuptial agreement in good time before your wedding,

What does a pre-nup do?

A ‘pre-nup’, or prenuptial agreement helps to protect financial assets from before your marriage, and sets out what should happen if you divorce or dissolve your civil partnership.

It must be made before you get married and can clearly set out the basis for dividing your assets and jointly owned assets such as property, investments, and pensions for example.

It can also clearly set out what type of maintenance may be paid in the event of a divorce. The agreement may also set out different conditions for dividing your assets depending on the reasons for a divorce.

Of course it’s hard to think about your relationship failing when it’s only just begun, but if you’re not protected with a prenuptial agreement before you tie the knot, the effect could be devastating.

Do I need a pre-nup?

You may wish to think about getting a prenuptial agreement if:
(a) there is international aspect to your relationship,
(b) this is not your first marriage or you have a children from a previous relationship, or
(c) you have substantial assets which you have acquired before your relationship which you would like to preserve.

Depending on your circumstances, we will advise you about the benefits of having a pre-nup.

What if I have already married or I am about to get married?

You may still be able to safeguard your interests by entering into something called a post-nuptial agreement. Please contact us to find out more.
Our specialist team can answer any questions you may have on ‘pre-nups’ and can give you clear and simple advice on how a prenuptial agreement can protect your assets , as well as its aims and potential pitfalls, regardless of your situation.


The Family Team's Credentials

What the team is known for: Highly experienced at taking on financial remedy cases. Focuses on settling issues through collaboration or mediation where possible, and through litigation if necessary. Active representing guardians in public law care proceedings. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They are highly skilled and committed professionals who work incredibly hard and diligently for their clients.” “They provided an excellent service in a very straightforward and non-technical way.” Notable practitioners: Richard Ellis (Band 2) enjoys a strong reputation for his public children expertise, and is also skilled at taking on matrimonial finance cases. He is hailed by one commentator as “phenomenally good and a great advocate.” Sharon MacDonald (Band 3) frequently represents high net worth clients on alternative dispute resolution proceedings, such as mediation and collaborative law, associated with complicated finance matters. One client reports: “She was very thorough – all the paperwork was correct down to the minutest detail. She obtained a wonderful result for me.” Jon Toogood (Eminent Practitioner) handles matrimonial finance issues in the context of divorce cases, and is a skilled arbitrator and collaborative lawyer. One client praises his “excellent technical knowledge, very good commercial awareness and very good bedside manner.” Katherine Lauder is a Recognised Practitioner.” Chambers 2017 South West

“What the team is known for: Well-known team in the Oxford market, with substantial experience in divorce and financial remedy matters involving complex assets. Also advises on public law children cases, including those involving allegations of non-accidental injury. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “A really good outfit, and universally likeable.” Notable practitioners: Mark Phillips (Band 3) is experienced advising in divorce and financial remedy matters, especially those involving complex assets such as pensions and business interests. One source says of him: “He is very intellectually able, and has a pleasant, persuasive way about him.” Head of the Oxfordshire family team Simon Bassett (Band 3) is particularly active in matrimonial finance cases. One source reports: “I’ve been really impressed with his ability to think creatively around the financial cases, and to look for solutions that aren’t obvious.”” Chambers 2017 Oxford and Surrounds

“Royds Withy King is ‘one of Bath’s leading family law firms’ for collaborative law and mediation, and department head Richard Ellis has ‘a fantastic reputation’ in care proceedings. Also recommended are Sharon MacDonald and Jon Toogood, and newly promoted senior associates Katherine Lauder and Rebecca Stevens.” Legal 500 2016 South West

Simon Bassett is ‘a consistent high performer, particularly in matrimonial finance’. Legal 500 2016 South East


FAQs

In recent years, the Courts have been finding pre-nuptial agreements increasingly determinative in deciding a financial settlement within divorce proceedings.  We can advise you on how to maximize the strength of your pre-nuptial agreement in Court.  Broadly, the agreement must be fair and it must follow certain legal formalities.  It is always best for both parties to obtain independent legal advice before signing.

A pre-nuptial agreement needs to be finalised within a reasonable time (broadly 3-4 weeks at least) before the date of your wedding.  If the agreement was made right before the date of the wedding, there may be concerns about one person being inappropriately pressurised into signing.

If you would like to discuss a pre-nup, we would advise you to contact us a few months before the date of the wedding.

 

 


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