Pre & Post
Before committing to marriage or civil partnership, couples are increasingly drawing up a pre-nuptial agreement (often referred to as a ‘pre-nup’) setting out in advance how their assets should be divided if the relationship later breaks down. Couples already married or in a civil partnership can use a post-nuptial agreement (or ‘post-nup’) to do the same thing, and these are also becoming more common.
Of course, discussing the hypothetical breakdown of a relationship is not the nicest conversation to have. However, doing so can help to ensure that you and your partner start the next phase of your lives without any doubt or reservations. It can also facilitate a more amicable split if the relationship does unfortunately break down later on, avoiding potentially stressful and acrimonious (not to mention costly!) litigation for all involved. Romantic? No. But certainly pragmatic.
Pre and post-nuptial agreements are particularly common when people are entering into second marriages or civil partnerships and wish to protect the interests of children from previous relationships. However, first timers are also increasing turning to pre-nups and post-nups to protect assets they have already received from family members (for example, early inheritances or gifted funds to help them get on the housing ladder).
Although pre-nups and post-nups are not automatically recognised by the courts as legally binding, a clear and fair agreement – carefully prepared by parties who have both taken solid legal advice – can provide persuasive evidence of each party’s intentions. This is turn is more likely to result in some or all aspects of the agreement being upheld.
How can we help?
Our experienced family lawyers can help you to understand the pros and cons of entering into a pre-nup or post-nup, advise on the key risks or limitations involved, and help you to create a clear and fair agreement that accurately reflects your intentions. If relevant, we can also advise on whether any pre-existing agreements are likely to be enforceable. For further information or to make an appointment, simply call our family team and we’ll offer a clear and competitive costs estimate, with no hidden extras.
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