Family Law Blog

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Remarrying? Marrying for the first time? Already married?
Historically, prenuptial agreements have been reserved for the wealthy or the rich and famous.  However, more recently other categories of couples will now find they can benefit from such an arrangement.  For example, those who may have already been stung by a divorce and are reluctant to remarry could be enticed into doing so if they feel that their financial position in the event of another divorce could be protected.
Another appropriate category may be widows or widowers who find that any proposal by them to remarry is received with extreme caution by their adult children.  Quite understandably grown up children would be greatly concerned that their future inheritance could/would pass to this new person in their parent’s life.  Once again, these hostilities could be placated with a carefully considered and negotiated prenuptial agreement.
Additionally, married couples where one party anticipates coming into money such as an inheritance, may also benefit from a post nuptial agreement.   A post nuptial agreement means you can attempt to control the division of your assets and payment of any maintenance in the event of separation.
If you are considering re marrying or even marrying for the first time, given the unpredictability of family litigation (not to mention the considerable legal costs) you should give serious thought to a prenuptial agreement.
These agreements are not formally binding in England and Wales.  However, they have been regarded by the court as persuasive and in some cases, decisive.  Any pre or post nuptial agreement may influence the outcome of a financial application, within divorce either as part of all the circumstances of the case that the court has a duty to consider, or as conduct that it would be inequitable to disregard.  In 2010 there was a landmark Supreme Court decision in a case known as ‘ Radmacher (formerly Granatino) v Granatino’ which has since paved the way for changes in this area of law.
For specialist advice please contact Thomas Mansfield Family Law