Divorce & Family Law

Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements

A breakdown in a relationship can be stressful and expensive. Whilst the majority of people only require legal advice in the event of a relationship breakdown, we can also assist people who are entering a significant relationship.

A cohabitation agreement can be made in order for a party to protect their interests when entering a cohabitation relationship. Similarly, when entering marriage or a civil partnership it is also recommended that you take legal advice in respect of protecting any significant assets/wealth before you get married. An agreement can be entered prior to marriage known as a pre-nuptial agreement, or a pre-registration agreement for civil partners.

It is s.25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act that addresses financial settlement within divorce. Prior to October 2010 pre-nuptial agreements were considered under the heading of "all circumstances of the case" and they were only occasionally taken into account.

However in October 2010 the landmark decision of Radmacher held that in future pre-nuptial agreements would be upheld by the courts unless they were unfair. Therefore the law now proceeds on the basis that a pre-nuptial agreement is binding unless it is unfair.

A post-nuptial agreement is a legally binding agreement which is made following marriage or entering into a civil partnership. As this is entered into after marriage it differs from a pre-nuptial agreement. The courts state that post-nuptial agreements are legally binding even if they do not reflect what a court would have agreed on divorce. A court will therefore uphold a post-nuptial agreement as long as there has been no exploitation or undue influence on either party.

Related Case Studies

August 26th
Lindsey Britland one of our Family Solicitors highlighted how important advocacy skills are in helping progress matters without delay and additional costs when she secured extra contact for dad and his two young children of 4 and 7.
August 24th
The Supreme Court judgment in Wyatt v Vince has caused quite a stir since it was handed down on the 11 March 2015.
May 12th
Our family law team has recently been involved in resolving some matrimonial disputes containing significant assets together with some rather individual issues. One such example is when they were instructed to represent a client who was suffering with men…