Are pre-nuptial agreements legally binding?

Are pre-nuptial agreements legally binding?

The three stage test used by the court:

1. The agreement must be freely entered into;
2. Both parties must have a full understanding of the terms of the agreement;
3. It must be fair to hold the parties to this agreement.

If you are considering entering into a prenup the following may help with the decision making.

Five Advantages

1. You can make it clear, and agree at the outset of your marriage, as to whether a particular asset is yours alone, or whether you are happy for it to be shared on any future divorce. This provides certainty and avoids lengthy and costly litigation in the future, which in turn saves you in legal fees.

2. You will provide each other with disclosure of your assets before any agreement is reached, allowing you to agree to protect any assets, such as gifts or property received before the marriage. You can also protect your assets from any of your partner’s debts now or in the future.

3. Entering into an agreement should lead to fewer arguments about your finances and will help you communicate about financial matters during the marriage.

4. A prenup will protect any assets ring-fenced for your children and will set out what will happen to your assets on your death, ensuring that your children are taken care of.

5. If you are concerned that your partner wishes to marry you for your money, the prenup should help to put your mind at rest.

Five Disadvantages

1. Prenups are not legally binding, however, following the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42, the court will uphold a prenup if it satisfies the three stage test above.

2. The prenup cannot anticipate what will happen in the future. If there is a significant change of circumstances, it is unlikely that the prenup will be upheld by the family court. In an attempt to ensure that the prenup is upheld by the court, the document should be reviewed on a significant change of circumstances, resulting in further legal fees and potential upset, and puts a strain on your relationship.

3. The court is unlikely to uphold a prenup that is no longer in the best interests of any children of the marriage. Any agreement reached will be dependent on the circumstances of the children at the time of the divorce.

If you would like to know more about prenuptial agreements, or if you are considering entering into one, email me at familylawyerlondon.

Posted by admin in Agreements, Divorce
Should I start divorce proceedings?

Should I start divorce proceedings?

You may, however, be concerned about the hostility and upset this may cause you, your partner and the children. Being sensitive to the timings can help to keep the divorce as amicable as possible, but if the other party is not on board, it can be upsetting.

I am often consulted by clients who are not emotionally ready to start divorce proceedings but want to learn more about their rights and the divorce process. They are dealing with a range of emotions and each client needs their own time to work through this.  Some clients are ready to get started when they come to see me for the first time. Some are not, and that is perfectly ok. Many clients inform me that the timing is not right because they have family holiday with the children approaching or because there has been a bereavement in the family recently, and for them it just would not be appropriate.

It is important to consider the welfare of your children when taking this decision, however, my advice to all my clients is that their welfare is just as important.  The sooner they start divorce proceedings, the sooner they can take steps to move forward and think positively about their future.  A simple straightforward divorce could take eight to twelve months to complete. This can extend to two, and in some circumstances three years, when financial matters are being dealt with at court.

My role as a family lawyer is to make sure that you understand your legal rights and to support you through this process. Having a lawyer does help to lessen the burden, as even an amicable divorce can be stressful.

If you are unsure about starting divorce proceedings, please do contact me. I will provide you with initial advice and set out the options available to you, so that you have the information to make an informed decision about whether this is what is right for you.

Email me at familylawyerlondon.

Posted by admin in Divorce, 0 comments