Pre-nuptial Agreements – Full Guide

The basics

You may wish to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement for a number of reasons. For example:

  • You may be contemplating marriage or engagement;
  • You may have been divorced before;
  • You might want to avoid the risk of acrimony in a divorce;
  • Your parents may be insisting on the agreement to safeguard their inheritance;
  • You may have just been paid a large bonus or received an inheritance.;
  • You may just want to talk about your concerns regarding protecting your finances from potential claims with someone; 
  • You may be part of a business and wish to protect your interests; and
  • You may not want to pay substantial legal fees for a divorce. 

Whatever the reason, we are here to help. Feel free to contact us for more information.

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

Also known as Pre-Marital agreements, Ante-nuptial agreements or Pre-nups, it is a signed agreement which sets out how various financial and other matters will be dealt with in the event of separation or breakdown of the marriage.

When should I enter into a pre-nuptial agreement?

You should enter into such an agreement as soon as possible. In any event, the agreement must be entered into at least 42 days before the wedding date.

Ideally the pre-nuptial agreement should be entered into around 6 months before any wedding date, to give time for both parties to reflect on the agreement and negotiate the terms. The courts are more likely to uphold a pre-nuptial that has been entered into long before the marriage. This demonstrates to the court that there has been sufficient time for the parties to obtain legal advice. It also shows that it is less likely that the agreement has been entered into as a result of duress or coercion.

Request for a Legal Consultation

Garner & Hancock realise that the prospect of pursuing a legal matter can be challenging, so we offer an initial phone consultation to discuss your options, and to give you information that will help you make the right choices affecting your case.

How much does a pre-nuptial cost?

There are a number of stages that your solicitor would have to go through with you in order to prepare your pre-nuptial agreement:

  1. They will first need to find out why you are seeking the advice, which includes finding out what assets you wish to protect.
  2. They will need to obtain all of your financial information.
  3. They will take you through the current law on prenuptial agreements.
  4. They will take you through the various provisions of the agreement and will advise you the various scenarios which may arise on any separation or divorce.
  5.  Another meeting will be required in order to obtain your final instructions before the solicitor begins drafting the agreement.
  6. They will take you through the draft agreement and the financial disclosure of both parties.
  7. They will then send the prenuptial to your partner or their solicitors.
  8. Some negotiations may ensue to allow the parties reach a meeting of minds. You may need to meet with your solicitor to discuss any amendments.
  9. The agreement will then be finalised and will need to be signed by both parties.

Costs start from £1200 plus VAT, but may increase depending on the complexity of the agreement and the amount of negotiations. We try to provide our clients with a fixed fee where possible.

I only want a basic agreement to protect my assets, why are these agreements so expensive?

Our agreements include provisions which are exclusive to this firm. They include clauses which can protect you from future windfalls including inheritance, future maintenance claims, protecting your family home or your interest in buy to let property. We also have a clause which could protect the parties from buying and selling property or assets, which covers any profits made from such ventures.

Your solicitor should give you an estimate of costs at the first meeting. In most cases, the cost of the pre-nuptial is much less than the costs of having to deal with finances following a divorce where there is no such agreement. These costs can amount to £10,000 – £15,000 per party in a divorce when dealing with finances up to trial.

It is important to be aware that, although a pre-nuptial agreement is influential on the courts, they can still intervene and depart from the agreement.

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How Can We Help You?

We’re here to assist you. Simply send us your query, and we’ll provide an initial consultation to anyone seeking legal assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime for help with your legal matters.