Marital agreements

Marital agreements, known as pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements, are often thought to be something that the rich and famous enter into to protect their wealth.  They are often reported on the front of various tabloid newspapers.  However, they are becoming increasingly popular among clients from all walks of life wishing to achieve certainty and fairness in the event that they divorce in the future.  They are particularly useful where clients are marrying for the second time, or later in life, and there may be inheritance that they wish to protect for the benefit of their children.

A martial agreement, which can be entered into before marriage, or after marriage, is simply a written agreement between a couple, which sets out how they intend their finances to be arranged during the marriage, and in the unfortunate event their marriage comes to an end. Whilst it can be difficult to contemplate the end of your marriage, before it has even begun, it is very sensible to do so and is likely to decrease the changes of separation as the marriage will be based on openness and honesty at the outset – isn’t that romantic!   An agreement provides certainty as to the future, and if the worst does happen, you will save a lot of money and time if there if a proper agreement in place.

Following the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42 in October 2010, the courts in England and Wales will uphold a marital agreement that is freely entered into by both parties with a full appreciation of its implications, unless in the circumstances it would not be fair to uphold the agreement. Provided that test is met, the court will give effect to a marital agreement, so you should expect to be held to its terms if you decide to enter in to the agreement. It is essential that both parties receive independent legal advice.

We offer expert advice on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.   Every case is different, and we can give you bespoke advice at the early stages of thinking about entering into agreement, and we can help you to negotiate the terms, and draft the agreement.  We can advise you if you have been asked to enter into an agreement.  Our service includes advising you on your legal position, whether the agreement is fair, and making sure the agreement is legally enforceable.  We can also provide advice on setting unfair agreements aside.

We can also provide advice on cohabitation (living together) agreements – which are sometimes known as ‘no-nups’!

Please contact our family team by telephoning 01328 863131 or sending an email to [email protected]

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