If you are getting married or entering into a civil partnership, worrying about what might happen if you and your partner break up is likely to be the last thing on your mind.
Sometimes, sadly, relationships don’t work out as expected, and pre-nuptial agreements can help minimise the financial and emotional impact of a divorce on the family by agreeing in advance what should happen to your assets.
Recording and ring fencing assets
A key feature of a pre-nuptial agreement is recording the assets that were brought into the marriage, and their values, and then agreeing how they should be treated if the relationship ever breaks down. Pre-nuptial agreements can therefore be a useful way of ‘ring-fencing’ any business interests, trust interests, inherited wealth or other assets owned before your marriage.
Save on legal costs
Pre-nuptial agreements make sense for everyone to consider; even in relationships without significantly valuable assets to cover, an agreement can significantly lower legal adviser and court costs should the relationship breakdown.
Legality of agreements
Whilst pre-nuptial agreements are still not legally enforceable in England and Wales, judges are attaching more weight to them and are much more likely to uphold them if certain conditions are followed when preparing the agreement. A pre-nuptial agreement is more likely to be upheld if it is reasonable, both parties received legal advice during the negotiation, it is clearly not out of date at the time of separation, and if it was properly drafted with full disclosure of assets by both parties.
The preparation of a pre-nuptial agreement can be a delicate matter, especially when it is being negotiated in the middle of planning a wedding. We ensure that the whole process is conducted with sensitivity, and dealt with promptly, so that both parties can focus on enjoying the big day.
Of Marie-Louise Hamilton: "I rate her very highly - she is very much an expert in the field."
Chambers & Partners