These agreements are usually considered by people who have complicated finances to consider in advance of marriage. Or, for couples who have been married before and gone through a divorce there seems to be a rise in popularity of getting certain agreements ironed out before the next union takes place.
While these types of agreements are fairly “new” in the eyes of British law, they are becoming much more common. However, it must be understood that unlike many other European countries and most of the US, a pre-nuptial agreement is not legally binding and can often be superseded by divorce law.
This does not mean that such agreements are useless. Over the years, increasing weight is being given to the validity of pre-nuptial agreements and since a landmark case in 2010 (Rachmacher v. Granatino) UK courts will now uphold terms of a pre-nuptial agreement which was freely entered upon by both parties.
Unless it would clearly be unfair to uphold it, UK courts are now far more likely to uphold them. This is good news for those who want to get a pre-nuptial agreement made before marriage as it is now viewed that any kind of marital agreement (including prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements and separation agreements) could be upheld unless the agreement is found to be unfair at the time the marriage breaks down.
It should be understood, however, that no pre-nuptial agreement will ever override decisions to be made in a divorce where the financial stability of any children involved.
Whether you are the financially weaker or stronger partner, or whether you have modest or large assets involved, we can advise you on steps which can be taken for your pre-nuptial agreement. If you are the financially strong partner and wish to ensure some protection for yourself in the unhappy event that your relationship breaks down, we will be able to assist in ensuring steps are taken to strengthen any chances you have for protecting your assets and ensuring your pre-nuptial agreement is upheld.
The main thing to bear in mind when considering making these types of agreements is that they need to made with both parties being fully in agreement and with full disclosure and willingness on both sides. We recommend that you seek our advice as early as possible to ensure that independent advice can be taken well in advance of your actual marriage.
Marital Agreements and Agreements for Unmarried Couples
There are quite a few options for different types of agreements which can be put into place for couples who want to determine certain outcomes in the event of the breakdown of a relationship.
While it can seem completely unromantic and probably the last thing on the minds of couples in love, it is a definite fact that agreements put in place in advance of marriage or cohabitation is on the rise.
While divorce is at its highest in 30 years, marriage rates are at their lowest since records began. This set of statistics is the reason behind a proportional rise in the number of applications made to put certain agreements into place in advance of cohabitation or marriage.
These agreements are very similar in nature to those formed before a union takes place. recent reports from the Law Commission suggest that post-nup agreements will be treated in much the same was as pre-nuptial ones. Your best bet here is to contact us as soon as you feel you want to make such agreements and we will asses what needs to be done.
Legal rules and the rights of unmarried couples are very different from those for married couples. The urban myth is strong that once a couple have lived together as “man and wife” for a certain period of time that their rights and status as a couple become the same as for a married couple. This is not the case.
If you are planning to move in with someone and live as though you have legally entered into marriage or a civil partnership then you may want to consider getting Cohabitation agreements drawn up if you do not plan to marry, particularly if you want to have children together and share finances. we can help with sorting out what kinds of agreements you should put in place.