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When marriages end, a major source of stress for many couples is that they do not know at the outset what the financial outcome of their divorce or dissolution will be. Many people enter into marriages with assets they would like to protect should the relationship fail. One possible solution is for the couple to sign a prenuptial agreement. Whilst prenuptial agreements can be taken into account by the courts upon divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, they lack legal recognition and are not necessarily absolutely binding. It is ultimately the decision of the court to determine the appropriate weight to be given to the agreement. For that reason it is very important that any such agreement is drafted properly and it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a professional family law solicitor as soon as possible, particularly as pre-nuptial agreements should normally be prepared at least two to three months prior to the marriage. At NGA we can advise on the legalities of such an agreement and the effect of any such agreement being taken into account on a financial settlement, which is now happening more and more in the English courts.
We can also offer advice on entering into post-marriage agreements. It cannot be guaranteed that a post-nuptial agreement will be upheld in its entirety due to changes that can be encountered, both legally and personally. However for post-nuptial agreements to be upheld they must be entered into voluntarily; both parties should seek independent legal advice; both parties must give full and frank financial disclosure; and finally, the agreement must be fair in all the circumstances.
For more information on the drafting of prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements, or to simply speak with a member of our family law team, call us on 01282 862000.