Wealth protection and nuptial agreements
Services in: Family and Divorce law
Dividing your assets fairly
Nuptial agreements can be put in place to provide a couple with peace of mind. Such agreements can be a sensible, fair, and transparent way for a couple to organize and protect their finances and assets in the future.
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What is a nuptial agreement?
A nuptial agreement is a legal contract between a couple that sets out the ownership of all of their money, property and other assets and how their wealth should be divided between them in the event that their marriage or civil partnership were to break down. You can have a pre-nuptial agreement which is for couples planning to marry or enter into a civil partnership or a post-nuptial agreement that is entered into during the marriage or civil partnership.
Why get a nuptial agreement?
Couples who are entering into a long-term commitment of marriage or civil partnership are much more likely to be fair minded to each other. This this means that if a couple entered into a nuptial agreement, they could avoid the costs of protracted and acrimonious court proceedings if their marriage or civil partnership broke down.
Who are these agreements for?
Such agreements are not just for the rich and famous. There any many reasons why it might be sensible for a couple to sign up to a nuptial agreement such as:
- To protect inheritance or future inheritance.
- To ensure that assets are reserved for children from a previous relationship
- To retain ownership of a business
- To ensure that any debt that is being brought into a marriage or civil partnership is not treated as a joint debt
- To ensure that any money gifted by the bank of “mum and dad” remains with the person whose family gifted the money
- To agree who keeps the family pet (sometimes called a “pet nuptial agreement”)
Is a nuptial agreement recognised in this country?
It is a common misconception that nuptial agreements are an expensive waste of time. However, if they are drawn up properly and if they meet certain safeguards then such agreements will be upheld by the Court. The Court made this clear in the leading case on nuptial agreements known as Radmacher v Granatino.
While a Court can uphold a nuptial agreement, if its contents are disputed, a Court would look at such an agreement very carefully. The Court would want to ensure the nuptial agreement met the needs of both the husband and wife or both civil partners. Where a nuptial agreement meets the needs of both husband and wife, or both civil partners, and if the couple entered into such nuptial agreement freely and with the benefit of legal advice then it is very likely that the Court would direct that the separating couple must comply with the terms of their nuptial agreement.
How is a nuptial agreement created?
To comply with the law, the nuptial agreement must be drawn up by a qualified solicitor. The husband and wife or civil partners must have separate solicitors to represent their interests. They must also disclose all details of their income and their capital to each other. They must enter into the agreement freely and voluntarily and they must understand all the contents of the agreement. Ideally a pre-nuptial agreement should be signed at least 28 days before the date of the marriage or civil partnership.
A pre-nuptial agreement is a technical and important document which must be drafted carefully. We have the expertise to advise you on the terms of such agreement (i.e. what you should and should not agree to) and the expertise to draw up the document.
The negotiations for nuptial agreements must be conducted with sensitivity so we undertake a collaborative approach with your husband, wife, or civil partner’s solicitor. We go through the agreement with you carefully and ensure that you understand all its contents before you sign up to such agreement.
Some examples of our experience
Drafting a prenuptial agreement for a young woman who had been gifted property by her parents and who stood to inherit their significant wealth in time.
Negotiations with her fiancé’s solicitors were lengthy and the agreement went through many drafts before both sides could sign up to it.
Representing a husband in his divorce proceedings after a very short marriage and having previously drafted a prenuptial agreement for him prior to his marriage.
We successfully opposed the wife’s challenge to the prenuptial agreement
Memberships and Accreditations
Our family lawyers are members of the national family justice organisation, Resolution, which promotes a constructive and cost-effective approach to family law issues — and that’s why we alo have divorce and family law solicitors who are qualified as collaborative practitioners so that we can offer you Collaborative Family Law.
This allows us to work together with other collaboratively trained divorce and family law solicitors to find solutions for your family without Court intervention.
We also have experts who are Law Society Accredited and on the Law Society’s Family Law Advanced Panel. Where family law disputes cannot be resolved through negotiation and agreement, we take a firm and proactive approach to court proceedings. It is this experience and outlook that makes us stand out from the crowd.
If you would like to find out more about how our team of specialist family and divorce lawyers based in London can support you then please get in touch.
You can book a complimentary 30 minutes consultation session with our friendly and knowledgeable Head of Family Law, Saika Alam. In the session, Saika will learn more about the challenges that you are facing and talk through how we can help.
We understand that it is so important that you get to speak to your divorce and family lawyer before you make any kind of commitment to use them. You need to get to know your divorce and family lawyer as much as we need to get to know you. That is why we do not make a charge for your initial consultation with us.
Saika Alam Partner - Head of Family Law
+44 (0) 20 7851 0110
Saika Alam has provided me with invaluable advice in relation to matrimonial matters during the last few years. I have valued her patient, client-centred approach and ability to remain calm in the face of adversity. I would highly recommend her.
Saika Alam is the only person I would ever go to. She has always advised me in the most professional and honest way possible. She works in a way that makes you feel comfortable and you feel you are in good hands. I have referred so many people to her and will continue to do so.
I highly recommend Saika as she is professional, approachable and does a fantastic job achieving realistic positive results.