Pre and post-nuptial Agreements
If you are planning to marry you may wish to consider entering into a pre-nuptial agreement or, if recently married, a post nuptial agreement. Such agreements do not have to be solely for the rich and famous. You can protect any asset, no matter how big or small. This may include savings, property and income as well as pensions.
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Although pre-nuptial agreements are legally enforceable in their own right in other European Countries, this is not the case in the UK. However, this does not mean that it is pointless to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement. This is because a pre-nuptial agreement is a fact that the Court can and, more often than not, will take into account in deciding how the matrimonial assets should be divided. Although the prospect of a pre-nuptial agreement may seem unromantic, it is something you should consider if you already have assets before entering into the marriage and you want to try and protect this against any possible claims which may arise if you subsequently separate. If you are considering entering into a pre-nuptial agreement then you should allow sufficient time prior to the wedding for the document to be signed and you and your husband or wife to be should both take independent legal advice regarding the terms of the agreement. If it is too close to the wedding day then you may look at putting in place a post nuptial agreement which sets out what would happen if you separate.
In either case, whether it be a pre or post nuptial agreement, expert legal advice should be obtained and at SSB and our specialist family team can create agreements that will reflect the circumstances of your case which will be taken into consideration if a Court ever has to decide about matters arising out of a separation.