Lead Forensics
Prettys Solicitors Ipswich

Family law

Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements

What is a pre-nup (also known as a pre-marital agreement), and do you need a lawyer to help you draw one up?  Prettys can give you advice over this type of financial arrangement.

A pre-nup is a document made prior to marriage in which the parties indicate how they intend their assets to be divided should they later separate or divorce.  They are most commonly seen where one party has significantly more assets than the other. Pre-nups can also record how assets acquired in the marriage will be divided.

Do I need one?

They are common for second marriages where one or both parties are keen to safeguard personal assets so that their children can inherit. Pre-nups can also be used where one party has business interests that may need to be protected, particularly if dividing that asset upon divorce affects people outside the marriage such as co-directors or employees.

What is a post-nup?

This is a document made after marriage.  It can be used where a pre-nup was intended but the parties ran out of time (see below), or, where the parties wish to record how their assets will be divided in any later separation or divorce.  A post-nup can be made at any time during a marriage and should be reviewed regularly – they can also be used to review and revise a pre-nup made before the marriage.

What is the latest a pre-nup can be signed?

The pre-nuptial agreement must not be entered into any later than 21 days before the wedding.  There are factors that improve the enforceability of a pre-nup and you should talk to us as soon as possible to ensure you have sufficient time to organise and enter into a pre-nup that you intend to be as binding as it can be upon you both.

Are pre-nups and post-nups legally binding?

Not quite.  They are of strong evidential value in a divorce, meaning that the court can consider the content, however, the judge is not bound by the document.  That said, if the prenuptial or post-nuptial document has been properly drafted by a lawyer for each party and there has been full financial disclosure, the deed carries weight and is far more likely to be considered binding on the parties by a judge subsequently, if challenged.

What should I do next?

For advice on a pre-nup or post-nup from a lawyer, contact the Prettys Family Team on 01473 232121, e-mail us here or request a call back here. Prettys work with clients in Suffok, Essex and East Anglia.

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