Experts in Family Law and Mediation
Prenuptial Agreements and Post-nuptial Agreements Solicitors
At MPR Solicitors, we provide expert legal advice on drafting and negotiating pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Our family law team understands the need to protect assets, especially if you are entering into a second or third marriage. If you are being asked to sign a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, we can examine it carefully and ensure that whatever you commit to will be in your long-term best interests.
To contact our pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements solicitors, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our central London or Hounslow office.
Our solicitors are practical, candid and dedicated to giving quality legal advice and representation. We have years of experience dealing with all types of family law matters and this allows us to advise you on a pre- or post-nuptial agreement from a broad base of knowledge, as well as an understanding of how such agreements can affect a person if a marriage breaks down. And all your dealings with us will be in complete confidence.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A pre-nuptial (or pre-registration) agreement is a contract between the parties to an intended marriage or civil partnership that states what will happen to their affairs if the relationship ends. Normally, financial arrangements are the focus of a prenuptial agreement, but the parties may also agree in which jurisdiction their divorce or dissolution suit will proceed and even who will get to keep the family pet.
What is a post-nuptial agreement?
A post-nuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that it is entered into after the marriage or civil partnership has taken place. For example, a couple may come to us regarding a post-nuptial agreement if one party has had an affair and the couple have agreed to work on the marriage. However, in anticipation of the possibility of a divorce, they often want to have an agreement in place which organises their affairs in advance.
How do prenuptial agreements work?
If you are bringing significant assets or income into the relationship, either through your own earnings or an inheritance, it is important to understand that once you marry, there is a high chance that your pre-existing wealth will become matrimonial property. This means it is thrown into a single financial pot, which must be divided if you divorce or your civil partnership is dissolved.
Anyone who has assets such as a business, property or investments should contemplate a pre-nuptial agreement.
To arrange a prenuptial agreement, you need to come in to speak to our family law solicitors. We will explain what is involved and discuss what you would like to be included. This should be done well in advance of the wedding; a document signed the night before the big day is unlikely to be upheld in court.
Both parties to the prenuptial (or post-nuptial agreement) need to make a full and frank disclosure regarding their finances prior to our family lawyers drafting the contract. Each party is also required to receive independent legal advice.
At MPR, our experienced family law solicitors will help you consider how your circumstances may change over the course of your marriage and draft an agreement that takes account of such changes. These could include children, the selling of a business, changes in employment and inheritances.
It is sensible to update your prenuptial agreement at regular intervals throughout the duration of your marriage, especially after you have children.
Is a pre- or post-nuptial agreement legally binding?
Neither pre- nor post nuptial agreements are legally binding in UK law. However, they have been regarded by the court as persuasive and even 'decisive'. As such a pre-nuptial agreement may influence the outcome of an application for a financial remedy, either as part of all the circumstances the court has a duty to consider or as conduct it would be inequitable to disregard.
The Supreme Court gave considerable weight to prenuptial agreements in the case of Radmacher (formerly Granatino) v Granatino  UKSC 42,  2 FLR 1900. Lord Phillips stated:
“The court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.”
The courts will consider the following factors when deciding whether to uphold a pre- or post-nuptial agreement:
- Whether the couple entered into the agreement willingly, free from undue pressure, each received independent advice, and full and frank disclosure regarding each party’s financial circumstances was made.
- Whether the couple’s circumstances at the time of the divorce proceedings make it fair and just to depart from the agreement.
Can I contest a prenuptial agreement?
Because nuptial agreements are not legally binding, it is possible to contest them on grounds such as they are, at the time of divorce, inequitable, or pressure was put on you to sign the agreement.
Our highly-trained and experienced family law solicitors have considerable knowledge in representing clients who are contesting pre-or post-nuptial agreements. We will examine the agreement you signed carefully, and establish the circumstances in which signing took place; i.e. did you receive independent legal advice, was full financial disclosure made and has the agreement ever been updated?
We will then build a persuasive case to challenge the weight given to the pre-or post-nuptial agreement by the court when making a financial order.
How much does a prenuptial agreement cost?
The cost of a prenuptial agreement will depend on your individual circumstances and the complexity of your financial arrangements. When you come in and see us, we will discuss fees with you, ensuring you understand exactly what is being charged for and why.
To find out more about obtaining or challenging a pre- or postnuptial agreement, please call us on 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.