Benefits of Prenup and Postnuptial Agreements

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Lorraine Harvey

Partner, Family Law

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This article was updated on 16th June 2022

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements may be viewed by some people as “unromantic”, but the hard reality is that marriage is a fundamental change to your legal status, so you need to be prepared for any eventuality.

That’s why many people are getting a Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) before tying the knot, or a Postnuptial Agreement after they have got married.

Protect Your Wealth

The idea that Prenup and Postnuptial Agreements are the sole preserve of the super-rich isn’t true; many people who are getting married will have savings, a pension pot, a property or other assets and investments. If they get divorced, their partner can stake a claim on it.

With a Prenup or Postnuptial Agreement in place, you can determine how your wealth should be split yourself, rather than leave it in the hands of the Courts if you ever get divorced.

For initial advice get in touch with our Family Law Solicitors.

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Prenup and Postnuptial Agreements have also become more popular with people who are marrying for a second time. They may have been through a messy divorce in the past, so they believe it’s best to have a defined agreement in place from the outset. Also, people who are remarrying tend to have greater assets, and may also have children from a previous relationship that they need and wish to provide for.

Reduce Conflict in Case of Divorce

Bitter divorce battles can be lengthy and can see separating couples spending large sums of money on legal costs as they fight each other for the divorce settlement they want. With a Prenup or Postnuptial Agreement in place, this potential cause of conflict can be taken out of the equation.

This can mean a more constructive and amicable approach to divorce, with less time, energy and money being spent on a lengthy dispute at a time when feelings are already running high.

Ease Conflict During Marriage

Some financial worries may only manifest themselves during the marriage itself and become a cause of stress. If you’ve married without taking out a Prenup, it’s not too late to take steps to prepare for a possible split. Getting a Postnuptial Agreement could help you to get some clarity over areas you disagree on, so any financial concerns you’ve had before no longer need to be an issue.

Can a Prenup or Postnuptial Agreement be Challenged?

A Prenup or Postnuptial Agreement can be at risk being challenged for several reasons. For example, it must cater for the financially weaker spouse and should consider future changes in circumstances, such as if you have children together.

It’s therefore very important to obtain legal advice to help safeguard you and to ensure that, as far as possible, the agreement is upheld if one day you choose to separate. While Prenup or Postnuptial Agreements aren’t always legally binding in England and Wales, they will at least by considered by a Court if a couple is getting divorced.

The Court will look at issues such as:

  • Would upholding the agreement be unfair?
  • Were you or your partner pressured into signing it?
  • Did you both provide financial disclosure of your assets?
  • Did the person with the most to lose fully understand the implications of signing the agreement?

Getting specialist legal advice from one of our Family Law Solicitors during the process can help reduce the chances of the Courts misinterpreting the clauses and ultimately how your assets are divided.

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