prenuptial and postnuptial agreement

What Is A Prenuptial  & Postnuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial and postnuptial agreement is a written agreement made between couples regarding how their assets will be split should their relationship come to an end. For people entering into a Civil Partnership the same type of document is called a Pre-Registration Agreement.  

Prenuptial agreements are not currently automatically legally binding in the UK . However, a landmark Supreme Court case, where it was ruled that a prenuptial agreement between Katrin Radmacher and her ex-husband, Nicolas Granatino, was enforceable, recently set a precedent making it more likely a court will uphold the terms of a properly made prenuptial agreement. 

For a prenup to carry any weight in court, it needs to satisfy the following conditions: 

  1. Both parties need to be fully aware of the consequences of signing the agreement. The parties must both understand the nature and seriousness of the agreement and enter the agreement willingly.  
  2. Both parties should have taken independent legal advice.  
  3. The agreement must be fair, just and reasonable to both parties.  The courts have shown that if an agreement is seriously biased towards one party, leaving them in a financially detrimental situation, then the agreement may not be upheld 
  4. Before signing the agreement, both parties must fully disclose all of their assets 
  5. The prenup must be signed at least 28 days before the marriage takes places. This helps prevent claims the process was rushed or that either party felt under pressure.  

No-one enters into marriage thinking about what will happen if they spilt up and how their assets will be divided. However, in the unfortunate event that a couple does break up legal fees can easily mount up if it becomes difficult to agree on financial arrangements. 

It may have been worth having a properly formulated prenuptial agreement prepared which could have saved you thousands of pounds in legal fees.  

The cost of preparing the prenuptial agreement will depend on the complexity of your situation, but is usually between £2,000 and £5,000. While this may seem a lot of money just before you get married it could end up saving you a lot more in the future.   

There is also an option of having a post nuptial agreement drawn up for couples who have already married, but still want protection. These agreements can carry even more weight, as there cannot be the argument that either party was placed under pressure to sign as the couple  are already married . 

So, if you have been asking the question: ‘what is a prenuptial agreement?’ for some time now and would like to discuss this, please contact Paul Prentice on 01483 237 989 or for a free, no obligation initial call.