Prenuptial Agreements | Prenups

Rebecca Oakley Family Law Solicitors Cardiff your expert family lawyer for Prenups | Prenuptial Agreements

The courts are now prepared to take into consideration a well-drafted prenuptial agreement. We can draft a “prenup” that has the best chance of being respected by a Court to protect your assets in case of future separation.

Prenuptial agreements in todays’ world

Prenuptial agreements are becoming an increasingly popular method for reducing uncertainty and conflict in the future. These agreements can also be applied to civil partnerships. A prenuptial agreement looks at where you are financially when you enter a marriage or civil partnership and sets out what you both agree would be a fair financial arrangement should your relationship end. This pre-nuptial agreement can help avoid unnecessary and costly financial disputes, if it is drafted properly with adequate financial disclosure and legal advice on both sides and in sufficient time for both parties to give proper consideration to the agreement.

In England and Wales the Courts apply the criteria as set out in s.25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 when deciding what would be a fair division of assets and income on divorce / civil partnership dissolution. The criteria set out under the Act are deliberately wide. Whilst that gives the Court a wide discretion to produce a result that is just, it can also give space for protracted and expensive litigation that sometimes have unpredictable outcomes. This wide discretion is applied to all the assets regardless as to the source and all income irrespective of which party generates it.

The Courts are now heavily persuaded by a well drafted and properly executed prenuptial agreement in the way they exercise their discretion. This can bring welcome certainty and reassurance to a couple at the beginning of their life together and rather than planning for failure, can help prevent money driving a wedge between you.

Postnuptial agreements also make provision for the division of assets and income in the event of a relationship breakdown, but are entered into during the marriage. There is case law that indicates that post nuptial agreements are even more persuasive to the Courts.

Important Criteria

The Courts will look for key features in a pre-nuptial before allowing it its intended weight and effect.  It is important to have the expertise and experience of a specialist Family Law Solicitor when drafting agreement or you may risk a court giving it little weight or even disregarding it entirely. One of the most important key features it the timing of the execution of the agreement. You should give thought to a pre-nuptial when you contemplate marriage, so that if you decide that you would like the benefits of a pre-nuptial, you will have sufficient time to ensure the pre-nuptial can be properly prepared, considered and executed at least 28 days before your wedding date. A Court would also expect the agreement to have been reached with clear knowledge of the parties’ true financial positions and with the opportunity to have taken independent legal advice.

When Should I consider a prenuptial agreement?

If one or both party has significant inherited wealth or inherited property of particular value or significance to your family, it can be wise to plan to protect it in the event of a divorce. You might have a house of farm passed down through generations or valuable heirlooms you want to see passed on rather than realised to meet a settlement on divorce. You might have built up an investment portfolio, a business that you want to preserve or you might have
gone through a divorce before and still have obligations to a former spouse or children.

Why choose Rebecca Oakley Family Law Solicitors Cardiff?

We are experienced Family Law Solicitors and have an outstanding reputation for acting on behalf of individuals with highly successful results. We can provide a cost effective solution tailored to your needs, whatever your income, assets or business interest and investments.