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Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements

With high profile cases such as the Mills and McCartney raising the profile of acrimonious settlements, it is little surprise that couples thinking of marrying would now give consideration to some sort of pre-marital prenuptial agreement.

A pre or post nuptial agreements should be considered if:

  • One or both of the parties to the relationship are more mature.
  • Where this may be his second marriage or partnership.
  • Where one party brings significant assets to a relationship or there is an imbalance in the financial provision to be made by both parties.
  • Where provision needs to be made for children or dependants from a previous relationship.
  • Where you wish to influence how assets may be divided between you should the marriage or civil partnership fail.

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Frequently Asked Questions

He's got to keep a roof over our heads hasn't he?

Non-residential parents have to pay maintenance for their children; hopefully the amount can be agreed though negotiation and if not then the CSA will decide. Each case is different.   If for example the Mum and the children stay in the family home then she may relinquish her claims over any other assets such as pension and savings in return.

How soon can I file for Divorce?

There is a 12 month barring rule which means you can start the divorce process after being married for 1 year. In England you can get divorced if your marriage has broken down irretrivably, usually proved by allegations of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, or if there has been 2 years' of continously living apart.

My aunt only has one bank account. Can I deal with this on her behalf?

If the bank allows, it is possible for your aunt to name you as a third party on her bank account. This will allow you to withdraw funds and sign cheques on her behalf. We can help your aunt complete the mandate form required to put this in place.

What am I entitled to in a divorce? Can she take me for every penny?

No.  Sometimes it may feel as though this has happened. The aim when sharing out matrimonial assets is to be fair.  Both spouses have to make full disclosure about their assets and debts before any decisions can be made about distribution, trying to hide anything won't work.  Factors which are important when sharing out the assets include the current and future needs of each spouse and any dependent children; the length of marriage and the age, earning capacity and contributions of each party.

When should we consider a Post or Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

As soon as possible. The longer the pre-nuptial agreement is in place prior to a marriage or civil partnership being entered into the better. However, agreements entered into after marriage or Civil Partnership can still have legal effect.  In order for a pre-nuptial agreement of this nature to be made binding there needs to be independent legal advice for both parties, full and frank financial disclosure and no duress.  If a pre-nuptial agreement of this nature is entered into at the church door then it is open to an allegation that one party or the other has been under a level of duress to enter into the agreement.

Who should consider a Pre or Post-Nuptial Agreement?

A pre or post nuptial agreements should be considered if:

  • One or both of the parties to the relationship are more mature.
  • Where this may be his second marriage or partnership.
  • Where one party brings significant assets to a relationship or there is an imbalance in the financial provision to be made by both parties.
  • Where provision needs to be made for children or dependants from a previous relationship.
  • Where you wish to influence how assets may be divided between you should the marriage or civil partnership fail.
Will I lose touch with my children?

Your aim should be that both parents still play an active part in the raising of the child/children.  Usually parents sort this out amongst themselves, although if there are problems mediation can be a good way to resolve this.  Going to Court should always be the last resort where children are involved.

Will we have to go to Court during our divorce?

No, getting a divorce should be an administrative excersise only and there are many options open to you that avoid going to Court.

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