Whilst the concept of pre and post-nuptial agreements has become more widely recognised here in the UK, they are not yet formally binding in the courts of England and Wales.
The use of these highly topical agreements can be a useful tool for some couples, where the parties wish to preserve assets in the event of a relationship breakdown. We do however, recommend that they are only developed and implemented with professional guidance. Our expert family team have a wealth of experience in advising on both pre and post-nuptial agreements.
A pre-nuptial agreement is formed between a couple who intend to marry or enter into a civil partnership, ideally months before the event but certainly no closer than 21 days before. It details the couple's intentions should the partnership fail, and includes items such as the preservation of assets acquired during the partnership. The agreements also typically include a review clause, which allows the couple to update the agreement either after a pre-determined period of time, or the birth of a child. At this time, the couple may choose to end or continue the agreement for a further period of time.
A post-nuptial agreement is entered into after the date of the marriage or civil partnership and covers the same issues identified above.
It should be noted that in the event of a relationship breakdown, the agreement is of evidential value only, and the court will take a number of factors into account when deciding on the allocation of assets following separation. More details on this can be found on our ‘financial matters following relationship breakdown’ page.
For additional detail regarding the use of pre and post-nuptial agreements, please contact our highly experienced team detailed below.