Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements

Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements

These are legal agreements entered into by both parties to a marriage or civil partnership

The agreement sets out how the couple wish their financial matters to be resolved in the event of a divorce or separation. A pre-nuptial agreement is put in place prior to the wedding or civil ceremony and a post-nuptial agreement is agreed after.

Although the agreements are not legally binding the Court will uphold an agreement if it is fair and a number of steps have been taken:

• Independent legal advice – both parties need advice from their own family law solicitor. This is to show that before entering into the agreement you both understand the implications
• Avoid allegations of duress or undue influence – there should be no evidence of undue pressure or duress before entering into the agreement. It is recommended that a pre-nuptial agreement should be signed at least 28 days before the marriage
• Provide a full and frank financial disclosure – you must provide each other with details of your financial position so that the agreement is entered into with a full understanding of each other’s finances. A summary of those finances should be annexed to the agreement.
• Ensure that the agreement is realistic and fair – if the agreement is weighted too far in favour of one person, there is less chance of it being upheld by the court. The agreement should make proper provision for not only the parties but any children

The Law Commission is currently considering the question of such agreements and the introduction of Qualifying Nuptial Agreements. The Law Commission believe that married couples and civil partners should have power to decide their own financial arrangements but should not be able to contract out of their responsibilities for each others financial needs or their children.

For more information contact Julie Wain on 01889 583871 or 01785 211411


The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published.Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances. (50587)