Whilst pre-nuptial agreements do not currently have the same weight as a court order, so will not automatically be upheld, they are seen by the courts as evidence of your intentions should the relationship break down in the future. Post-nuptial agreements are essentially the same contract but drawn up after rather than before marriage. Both set out how assets are to be divided should the marriage break down.
There are many reasons for the growth in the popularity of ‘pre- and post-nups’ and whilst they may not seem particularly romantic they are in many ways sensible and pragmatic. Around 50% of marriages now end in divorce, which itself leads to a greater number of second and third marriages between partners with existing dependents. Partners are likely to have significantly greater assets and wider financial responsibilities than might be typical amongst those in the first flush of youth! Their main purpose is to avoid the cost and stress of contested litigation in the future.
Our Family Law team understand the particular sensitivity of drafting agreements that anticipate the possibility of a relationship breakdown in the future. Your lawyer will have considerable experience in these forms of contract and will work closely with you to agree what to include and the provisions to make. Each partner must take independent legal advice, however because such agreements are cooperative, the dialogue with your partner’s lawyer, whilst professional, will always be cordial and constructive.
The document we draw up will typically cover your rights in relation to any property, income, assets and debts you have brought into the partnership, acquired individually (eg through inheritance) or purchased together. It requires full disclosure by you and your partner and we will advise on the provisions you may want to include and the circumstances to cover.
The contract will help provide clarity for the protection of pre-marriage assets and safeguard commitments you may have to existing dependents.
These Agreements are individually tailored for you and your partner’s needs and your lawyer will work closely with you to ensure your beneficial interests are fully covered and protected.
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