Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Solicitors
If you are planning on getting married you should think about signing a prenuptial agreement. You do not need to have significant wealth to benefit from securing the peace of mind and security a prenuptial agreement provides.
Our family law solicitors understand that negotiating and agreeing on a prenuptial agreement takes sensitive and careful legal advice. We can help you with all your family law agreement needs so you have the paperwork covered and can get on with your wedding plans and married life.
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What Does a Prenuptial Agreement do?
A prenuptial agreement records the agreement reached over what will happen if you separate or divorce from your husband or wife.
Prenuptial agreements are all different. They can cover the division of your current family assets and any assets acquired during the marriage that exist at the date of your separation. Other agreements can protect a specific asset from financial claims during the divorce. For example, a prenuptial agreement may be designed to ringfence and protect:
- A house purchased before the relationship began
- A house deposit provided by one parent
- Money received as a divorce financial settlement when a first marriage ended
- Pre-marriage pension contributions
- Shares held in a family business
- The family farm
- An inheritance or an anticipated future inheritance
- Trust distributions if one party to the marriage is a beneficiary of a discretionary trust
- Lifetime gifting from family as part of their inheritance tax and estate planning
There may be other reasons why you would benefit from signing a prenuptial agreement.
Negotiating a Prenuptial Agreement
Negotiating a prenuptial agreement takes care and special skills. Whilst your family law solicitor will want to protect your interests and do their best for you, they will also need to ensure that the agreement is fair to your husband or wife. That is because whilst you will want your future husband or wife to be treated with consideration, it is also crucial to do so because a prenuptial agreement that does not meet your husband or wife's needs is less likely to be upheld by the court in any future divorce financial settlement proceedings.
Are Prenuptial Agreements Legally Binding?
Prenuptial agreements are not legally binding on a court deciding a divorce financial settlement claim. However, the court will give effect to a prenuptial agreement if certain safeguards have been met and it is not unfair to do so.
This means that, in appropriate situations, the court will decide that the financial court order should be the same as the terms negotiated in the prenuptial agreement.
The factors that make a prenuptial agreement likely to be applied by the court include:
- The terms of the agreement are fair to both the husband and wife and meets their respective needs
- The husband and wife both took separate independent legal advice before signing the agreement
- There was financial disclosure and a recording of what was owned by whom at the date the agreement was signed. If financial disclosure is not given then a husband or wife cannot give an informed agreement
- There was no coercion or duress to sign the agreement
The agreement should be signed at least 28 days before the wedding but not more than 12 months before the wedding ceremony.
Our family law solicitors are experts in achieving the right balance when preparing prenuptial agreements. You do not want the document to say that your husband or wife will walk away with nothing as the reality is the court is not likely to give the agreement much weight in any future divorce financial settlement proceedings.
This is why you need a specialist on your side to guide you on how best to approach what should go into your prenuptial agreement.
What if I am already married (post nuptial agreement)?
If you are married and think you have left it too late to sign a prenuptial agreement, you have the option of signing a postnuptial agreement. This is just like a prenuptial agreement, only signed after your marriage.
Who Should Consider Signing a Postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is the same as a prenuptial agreement but entered into after marriage. The document records the agreement reached over what will happen to your assets if you separate or divorce from your husband or wife.
A postnuptial agreement is not:
- Just for those who intended to sign a prenuptial agreement but left it too late to arrange before the wedding
- For those whose marriage is in difficulties and who are planning to separate. If you decide to separate you should ask a family law solicitor about your options
A postnuptial agreement could be a good option for you if your personal or financial circumstances are changing. For example:
- You or your spouse will be inheriting some money or will be getting a large cash gift from an extended family member who is gifting cash as part of their inheritance tax and estate planning strategy
- You are selling your family business and want to ringfence the sale proceeds. This may be particularly appropriate where you have children from a previous marriage and you want to use the generational family wealth to help set them up in life
- You are getting a property transferred to you by a family member and although you will be the legal owner you do not want the property to be classed as a family asset if you separate from or divorce your husband or wife
- You are estate planning with your husband or wife and reviewing your finances so it feels like a natural time to discuss and sign a postnuptial agreement
What Goes Into a Postnuptial Agreement
What goes into your postnuptial agreement is a matter for you and your husband or wife, although our family solicitors will offer guidance and try to ensure that what you are agreeing to is fair and meets both of your needs. Reasonable and fair terms are important because if the terms of a postnuptial agreement do not meet your needs the family court may give less weight to the agreement and not fully uphold it.
The agreement can be comprehensive or seek to ringfence or protect specific assets.
Are Postnuptial Agreements Worth Signing?
Postnuptial agreements are worth signing, although they are not legally binding on the judge deciding a divorce financial settlement claim. The court will give weight to the agreement if:
- The agreement is fair to both of you and meets your needs
- You both took separate and independent legal advice before signing the agreement
- There was financial disclosure. For example, a postnuptial agreement will not carry much weight if your spouse did not know about the existence of a trust or a planned inheritance
- There was no coercion or duress to sign the agreement
Our family law solicitors specialise in sensitively and expertly drawing up family law agreements to help protect you and your family and can guide you on how best to move forward with a postnuptial agreement.
How Can Fullers Help?
We understand that finding a solicitor that you feel understands your own specific situation can be a daunting task. So you can book a free callback with us here.
We have also created a series of fixed-price consultation meetings with a full ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantee promise.
For an initial discussion and a no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today by simply calling us on 01234 343134 or email us at email@example.com and a member of our team will get back to you.
Fixed Fee Divorce
When you are getting divorced it can feel as if you are surrounded by uncertainty; over the child and parenting arrangements, where you will live, what you will get or pay in spousal maintenance, or how best to split any finances and assets. With a fixed fee divorce, the stress is reduced to give you the confidence to start creating a new future for yourself and your family.
Did you know… mediation allows you and your former partner to explore ideas about what your future may look like after separating and find common ground, without the anxiety of court proceedings, which could potentially save you time, money and of course stress?
When trying to reach a divorce financial settlement with your ex-partner it can be hard to know where to start. Our family law solicitors can help you understand your rights and options so you can secure a divorce financial settlement that meets your needs.
When you are separating or divorcing, the priority for you as a parent is to sort out the arrangements for your children. You want to do the best for your children in what can be an emotionally challenging and testing time.
We understand that when relationships break down, life can become difficult. We know that thinking about a separation can be very upsetting and disruptive.
We understand that if you are unmarried and your relationship breaks down you may be confused about the best way forward.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse, we understand that you will be upset, and might find it difficult to discuss what is happening to you.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) offers family clients creative and flexible ways to put an end to their differences, without the added cost, delay and stress of going to court.
We advise on high net worth divorce and family arrangements. Our specialist family solicitors have the expertise and experience to help you resolve family law issues where there is high net worth, international connections, or a public profile to safeguard.
If you are not getting to see your grandchildren our family law solicitors can help you understand your legal rights and explore ways to make sure that you can get to see more of your grandchildren.
Whether you need spousal maintenance, or you are being asked to financially support your ex-wife or husband, spousal maintenance can be an emotive topic and a hard area to resolve.
Pensions on divorce need careful consideration whether you are nearing retirement or have some time to go before you plan to stop working. We recommend that you seek expert legal settlement advice from specialist family law solicitors so you understand your pension options on divorce and how best to achieve a fair divorce financial settlement.
Together We Part Service
We are often asked by couples who are separating whether they can both have the same solicitor. They know that they need legal advice on some of the issues arising from their separation, whether it be finance or children. But they are afraid that involving lawyers on each side will lead to increased conflict and drawn-out disputes, as well as to significant costs.
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We understand that the nature of police work can put extraordinary pressure on family life and you need advice to ensure that your family related issues are resolved as quickly, and efficiently as possible.
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Nobody ever expects to have family problems, but when they do occur you will want somebody to help you resolve them, swiftly and amicably.
Military Divorce Solicitors
When you are in the military, there may be added pressures involved that could potentially lead to a breakdown of the relationship. Although the legal process of divorce is the same, there are often more complexities involved, such as military pensions, complex child arrangements and matters regarding child or spousal maintenance.