What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is a formal, written agreement between two partners established before the union takes place. It sets out ownership of assets and describes how they will be divided in the event of the breakdown of the relationship.
What is a postnuptial agreement?
People are generally less aware of the existence of postnuptial agreements (postnups) than they are of prenuptial agreements. However, postnups, which are established after the wedding or civil partnership ceremony, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. They are particularly relevant if your financial situation changes or if you want to document ownership of key assets before the birth of a child.
What is the difference between a pre and post nuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is put in place before you get married or form a civil partnership and a postnuptial agreement is established after.
Why should I consider getting a pre or post nup?
Nuptial agreements are put in place to provide security, clarity and certainty in the future for both parties. You may be looking to safeguard inheritance or future inheritance, own a business you would like to retain control over, or want to ensure certain assets go to children from a previous relationship. If you are considering entering into either kind of nuptial agreement, we advise you to seek guidance from one of our specialist Family lawyers.
Should I use the same lawyer as my partner for the nuptial agreement?
No, it is strongly recommended that you receive your own legal advice from an independent solicitor to ensure that the advice you are provided with is in your best interest. This also avoids any claims of conflict of interest.
What assets are included in a nuptial agreement?
The most common assets included in a UK nuptial agreement are savings, pensions, income, property, businesses, shares, and inheritance. The agreements can also be used to ringfence any expected future income, for example if one of you has started a business which you expect to be highly valued after a number of years. It is crucial that there is full financial disclosure from both parties when the agreement is initially discussed.
How long does a prenuptial agreement last?
A prenuptial agreement will last for the duration of your marriage or civil partnership. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the agreement as your partnership progresses, it is important that you seek early legal advice. If you have reached a point at which you are thinking about separation or divorce, consulting with a family lawyer early will help provide you with clarity around the next steps.
Will a nuptial agreement protect my inheritance?
Alongside protecting your current assets, a nuptial agreement will help protect any assets you are likely to receive in the future, for example if you are going to inherit a family home or business. If you are looking to protect inheritance for your future children, our Family lawyers can work collaboratively with our Trusts, tax & estate planning team to ensure that trusts are set up in their name.
If I have a prenup, do I need to review it once we are married or in a civil partnership?
A prenuptial agreement needs to be understood and agreed by both parties before the marriage or civil partnership takes place. If there have been significant changes in your life and you want to review your assets and spousal ownership, you should consider entering into a postnuptial agreement.
At what point in my marriage or civil partnership should I consider getting a postnuptial agreement?
There is often negativity in the press around postnuptial agreements being solely for couples experiencing difficulties in their marriage. This is most certainly not always the case. Many couples who have decided to get a postnup have had a change in circumstances and therefore decided to review their financial affairs with the support of a lawyer.
I am relocating to the UK. Shall I consider a postnuptial agreement to make sure my assets are protected?
If you are moving to the UK and want to ensure your assets are safeguarded should you end up filing for divorce in England or Wales, we would recommend considering a postnuptial agreement. Depending on which jurisdiction the marriage or civil partnership took place in, a divorce in England may be more advantageous for you. Additionally, if you already have a prenuptial agreement in place from the country in which you were married, it may not be legally binding in England and Wales.
How much will a nuptial agreement cost?
As part of our CB Clarity Nuptial Service, we offer an initial introductory meeting for £500 + VAT. There will then be further legal costs which can be discussed as part of this initial consultation.